xt7mpg1hmk12 https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7mpg1hmk12/data/mets.xml Tennessee Tennessee Historical Records Survey 1940 Prepared by the Tennessee Historical Records Survey, Division of Professional and Service Projects, Work Projects Administration; Tennessee State Planning Commission, Sponsor; Other contributors include: United States Work Projects Administration, Division of Professional and Service Projects; ii, 16 leaves, 28 cm; Includes bibliographical references ; UK holds archival copy for ASERL Collaborative Federal Depository Program libraries; Call number FW4.14: T 256/no.6 books English Nashville, Tennessee: Tennessee Historical Records Survey Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Tennessee Works Progress Administration Publications Outline of Development of Methodism in Tennessee, Special Publications Series, Number 6 text Outline of Development of Methodism in Tennessee, Special Publications Series, Number 6 1940 2015 true xt7mpg1hmk12 section xt7mpg1hmk12     MWRR¤*¥yi·*E %ir‘%$%P%%TJ   '
  fw   K\@\\¤@]\\@\@\@\¤¤\\N\@l@\¤ M Y T ;— f;  ¢;     1   
Qgf gletb jw
    x   M U§
  \ / fw
J “ “
  THE TENNESSEENA;!HSJIC?—R-ICAL RECORDS SURVEY  
’*} DECE.5\éf;RE,rj;4EOSSEE

 I k
s J
OUTLINE OF DEVELOPM NT OF
M THODISM IN TENNESSEE
Special Publications Series
No. 6
, Prepared by
.4 d
The Tennessee Historical Records Survey
E Division of Professional and Service Projects
Work Projects Administration
Sponsored by
Tennessee State Planning Commission
The Tennessee Historical Records Survey
Nashville, Tennessee
December 1940
1f*
w

 I
I Jo
_ \
i The Historical Records Survey Program
Sargent B. Child, National Director
Madison Bratton, State Supervisor
Research and Records Section
Harvey E. Becknell, Director
Milton W. Blanton, Regional Supervisor
T. Marshall Jones, State Supervisor
/5
A
u
Division of Professional and Service Projects
, Florence Kerr, Assistant Commissioner
Blanche M. Ralston, Chief Regional Supervisor
A Betty Hunt Luck, State Director
WORK PROJECTS ADMINISTRATION
Howard O. Hunter, Acting Commissioner
R. L. MacDougall, Regional Director
Harry S, Berry, State Administrator
1:*
U

 e R
.j» I- j' -
` PREFACE
Although the Tennessec Historical Records Survey Project has as
its chief purposes the preparation and publication of guides to and
inventories of public archives, church records, early American imprints,
manuscripts, and manuscripts depositories and collections, it has accu-
mulated, as by—products, a considerable amount of material and prepared
numerous memoranda in the course of routine editorial work which, under
original plans, would not be made available generallys
Since publication, from time to time, of various portions of this
miscellaneous material does not interfere unduly with the regular program
of publication and since some of it may be of general interest and value,
the Survey Project decided to institute a series of special publications,
to make this material available in substantially the same form as it
appears in the files. This bulletin is the sixth of the seriesu
This publication, tracing the growth and development of Meehedism in
Tennessee, was originally designed as an editorial memorandum to field
workers of the Church Survey Units to serve as a guide for the locating
and surveying of records of the individual Methodist Churches, and for the
_ obtaining of information on their history. The differences from other
nz denominations, occasioned by the structure of the Methodist Church, have
made it necessary that the field workers be instructed on the situations
3 to be encountered and the information to be obtained. The use of such a
guide was further necessitated by the fact that, prior to l959, the former
Methodist Episcopal Church and Methodist Episcopal Church, South, both
maintained conferences and churches in some sections of the State,
The sources consulted in the preparation of this publication are
indicated in the footnotes and bibliography accompanying it. While the
statements in this bulletin are documented, they will, in some cases, be
amplified in the forthcomirg Inventory of the Church Archives of Tennessee;
The Methodist Church, Nashville—Districtt.to_be published soon:— These _—_
sources will? ih—thEt inventbry,mbe—supplemented by references to manu-
script records of the churches of the Nashville District. This bulletin
has been read and approved by Dr, Curtis B. Haley, Editor of the General
Minutes and Yearbook of tho Methodist Church, and Miss Bertha Childs,
Librarian of The Methodist Publishing House, cf Washville.
The bulletin on Methodism in Tennessee was prepared under the
supervision of Robert Cassell, Church Archives Editor of the Tennessee
Survey Project, assisted by Milford R, Wheeler and Maurine Cantrell.
This bulletin in manuscript was edited by Donald A. Thompson, Assistant
Archivist in charge of the Church Archives Inventories of the Washington,
D. C., office. Typing of the final draft and cutting of stencils were
done by Helen P. Allen and Dosia L. Pearson. Publication of this bulletin
was sponsored by the Tennessee State Planning Commission and the cover
design prepared by Winston Marshall of the Commission staffs
,5.,
2

 X
_ - ij -
cr ;}#
A list of ublicetions of the Tennessee Historical Records Survey
P J
Project may be found in the Directory of Churches, Missions, and Reli-
gious Institutions of Tennessee; Hamilton Countys Cnvttanooga {Nashville,
l940l° The publications of the Historical Records Survey Projects in all
states are limited in number and in consequence ere placed in centrally
located designated depositories, Inquiries requesting the locations of
the nearest de-ositorics should be addressed to the State Su ervisors cr
P K _ P
to the Division of Professional and Service Projects, Work Projects Ad-
ministration, Washington, Da C0, for the attention of the Director of tim
Historical Records Survey Projects.
Madison Brdtton, State Supervisor
The Tennessee Historical Records Survey Project
Nashville
December 50, 1940
in
.l
I
P
r

 We
7 J OUTLINE OF DEVhLOPMENT OF
NETHODISM IN TENNESSEE
The spread of Methodism in the different sections of Tennessee
closely followed settlements in those regions; this development is
attributable in part to the fact that the frontier pioneers brought
their religion with them, and to the zeal of the early Methodist
"circuit riders." Among the first Methodist preachers who visited the
Holston country in East Tennessee were Jeremiah Lambert, Henry Willis,
Mark Whittaker, Mark Moore, and Reuben Ellis. As early as 1785, these
men preached on the Salisbury and Yadkin Circuits of North Carolina
and on the Holston Circuit of Tennesseeol
The Holston Circuit wes organized about 1785, and from it the
Nollichucky Circuit was formed about 1786. Jeremiah Lambert was the
first appointee to the Holston Circuit.2 In 1787, Rev. Benjamin Ogden
began preaching in thc Cumberland Country of Middle Tcnnessees5 In
1788, two more circuits in East Tennessee were formed, the French Broad
and the New River, and, after the addition in 1789 of Bottetourt and
Greenbrier Circuits, the holston District was created in that same year
from those Circuits and the Holston and the West New River {New River)
_ Circuits.4 The names of most of these circuits, taken from rivers,
`_ indicate the thickest settlements on the Tennessee frontier and the
locations of Methodist societies. The Holston and Nollichucky Circuits
3 covered settlements along those streams in upper East Tennessee, while
the French Broad and New River spread southward, the former to the bor-
ders of the Cherokee Nation. Successive new circuits in this region
were the Clinch, north of the Holston Circuit, and Powell's Valley, west
to the Cumberland Mountains. In 1804, the Holston District was composed
of the Holston, Nollichucky, French Broad, Powe11's Valley, Clinch, and
New River Circuits.5
Early societies in the East Tennessee region were organized at
Acuffls Chapel, the first Methodist Church in Tennessee, founded in 1786
in Sullivan County near the present site of Blountville; Pine Chapel in
1. J. B. NcFerrin, Methodism in Tennessee, I, 87; Walter Brownlow
Posey, The Development   Southwest, 1783-1824, 6;
HolstonTCErI?$@$Ee of the hethodist EpiscEp:1_Church, South, Annual
(1957), lO, hereafter cited as Holsten Conference, Annual, —_-7
2. McFcrrin, ops cit., l, 87, 88; Posey, op. pit., 6; Holston
Conference, Annua1—Tl9E77, 9, 10. -—_
30 NcFerrin,_op. cit., I, 517; Posey, op. cit., 8.
4. McFerrin, Ep} dit., I, 88. —_- ——--
5. Ibid., II,`lE;—H8lston Conference, lpnunil (1957), lO.
2··
Y

 o - 3 -
- J
Jefferson County, 0'Haver’s Meetinghouse, Old Bethcar, County—line,
Carter's Station, Ebenezer, Brush Creek, and Sa1em.6
Until 1790, most of the Cumberland Malley, as well as most of
present day Tennessee, was part of the State of North Carolina. The
pioneers to this region were chiefly of English extraction. The Meth-
odists came, as did the other frontiersmen, urged by mixed motives of an
opportunity to gain free lands, discontent with their life and status
in the settled states, and the call of an adventurous spirit. Prior to
the coming of the Methodists, there was little religious activity in the
Cumberland country. A few itinerant preachers of various sects probably
visited the scattered settlements soon after the close of the American
Revolution, but few organized churches were to be found before 1790.
The establishment of the first Methodist church in Nashville and
earliest in the Cumberland region, the present day McKcndree Church,
marks the beginning of Methodism in the Cumberland Valley. Organized
in 1787 as a preaching station of the Cumberland Circuit of the Western
Conference through the efforts of Rev. Benjamin Ogden, young soldier-
preacher of the Revolutionary Var, the church after one year was reported
as having "sixty-three members, four of whom are colored persons."7
Although settlers in those days went armed to their places of worship
for protection equally from wild beasts and hostile Indians, the Rev.
Mr. Ogden rode his circuit unarmed, and was never molested by the savages.
His circuit covered Nashville and settlements along the Cumberland River
`_ from Clarksville to Gallatin,8 being approximately the territory now
embraced by the Counties of Davidson, Sumner, Robertson, Montgomery, and
a Cheatham.
The first building occupied by the NcKendree Congregation was a
small stone and wood structure erected on the public square in 1790,
reputedly the first church edifice erected in the town of Hashville.9
The General Assembly of Tennessee, meeting at Knoxville in 1796, author-
ized the trustees of the town of Nashville to execute a deed to the
property to representatives of the Methodist Society.lO James Robertson,
founder of Nashville, served as steward of the church for many years.]l
6. McFerrin, op. cit., I, 102, 125; Il, 100, 483; Holston Conference,
Annual (1937), l4,—_CartEr’s Station and Salon, or Stoncdam, were in the
region of present day Grecneville.
7. McFcrrin, op. cit., I, 40, 51; III, 108; Posey, op. cit., 8, 9,
76, 77. M- mm- ___ —_—
8. McFerrin, op. cit., 1, 56, 57, 517; Tennessee Conference of the
Methodist Episcopal—Church, South, Journal (1912), 59, hereafter cited
as Tennessee Conference, Journal.
9. 1·i¤1¤emi¤, sp. cnfifei; 111, ss.
lO. Acts l796,"lst—s€s., ch. 29, sec. 9. The representatives of
the church_wtre—€njoined not "to debar, or deny, to any other denomination
of Christians the liberty of preaching therein, unless when immediately
occupied by the said scciety."
La 11. McFcrrin, pp. pip., I, 18, 19.
l`

 - 3 .
J
l Other churches, Hooper's end Zion, were organized on White's Creek,
near Nashville, by Absalom Hooper and by Matthew Talbot between 1795
‘ and 1802, and Bdney‘s Heetinghouse was erected in 1809 near the
Williamson County line.12
When the Cumberland Circuit was organized in 1787 and Rev. Mr. Ogden
assigned to it, it formed part of the Kentucky District,l5 In 1802 the
Cumberland District was created and the former Cumberland Circuit became
the Nashville Circuit.14 Other circuits in the District organized about
this time included the Red River (Clarksville region), Barren, and
Natchez.15 The Cumberland District embraced territory between Illinois
and Mississippi, and the Western Conference (organized in 1799), to which
the Cumberland District belonged, covered most of Tennessee and Kentucky.16
The Duck River Circuit, in the region of Maury County, was organized about
1806, while the Goose Creek Circuit, in the region above Gallatin in
Sumner County, and the Richland Circuit were both added in 1810017 Two
Districts were established in Middle Tennessee at the Conference of 1811,
the Cumberland including Red River, Goose Creek, Roaring River, Wayne,
Somerset, Green River, and 8¢rr n Circuits and the Nashville, including
Nashville, Canev Fork, Dixon (Dickson), Duck River, Elk, Richland and
Flint Circuits.18 lewis Edncy and Thomas Wilkerson first served the
Nashville Circuit after it was organizedclg Other prominent pioneer
Methodists in this region were William Mchendree, Presiding Elder of the
Kentucky District and later Bishop- James Haw, lrancis Poythress,
* learner Blackman, and James Gwinn¤éO
Somewhat in contrast to the frontiers in the other regions of Tenn-
‘ essoe, the Western District was settled not only by frontiersmen ever on
the move; there was a considerable element of church members who came in
the first inrush of settlers, Baptists and Methodists predominated, and
about 1820, groups of each formed themselves into congregations, but which
of the two denominations established the first organized church or erected
the first church building can not be determined, The earliest type uf
preacher of each denomination was the local preacher »- licensed but with-
out a regular pastorate. he was primarily a farmer, and preaching with him
was but an avocation, At the Tennessee Conference in 1820, a missionary was
delegated to "Jacksonls Purchase" (West Tennessee) to labor and report in
12. Ibid., Ill, 68»70=
13. See—Ho1land N. McTyeire, A History of Methodism, 439, 444 fn. for
a description of this circuit, —--*—·__—-*_
14. `Westcrn Conferercc, Jourral (1802) in William Warren Sweet, TEE
Rise of Methodism in the West, 85,
_°isT` `iE§.ET`"`“ "` ““` ""
16. Nilerrin, ep. cit., I, 285, 572, ·
17. Western c¤§Fer?3&%7o, Jr~m·m.i (isov, tune), itc. cit., iss, ies.
l8. Ibid., 189, 190. ` `_- ~_—_ ___-
19. IEEE"., ea.
20. lbid., I, 216, 227, 422; Horace M. Dubose, History of
·___ Methodism-T4-19, """"” —
 

 C - 4 -
~I
` the following Spring on the situation of that section.21 The first
missionary "circuit rider" in that region was Lewis Garrett, Jr.
ln Henry County, eight miles from Paris, were erected Manley's
Chapel and Manley's Campground, reputedly the earliest Methodist en-
campments in West Tennessee.22 At the Annual Conference of 1821, two
regular circuits were formed and supplied with pastors; Big Hatchie with
Abraham Overall the pastor, and Forked Deer, with Andrew Jackson Crawford
the pastor. ln 1822, the Fcrked Deer District was formed with Lewis
Garrett, Jr., as Presiding Elder, sixteen ministers and a membership of
687 under him, and in the following year Robert Paine, later Bishop, was
selected Presiding Elder.25
In 1831, the Paris District was created, and George W. D. Harris
appointed Presiding Elder. He was long in service as Presiding Elder,
and because of his influence was known as the "unordained bishop of the
‘Western District." The Tennessee Conference met in 1851 at Paris, the
first annual conference ever held west of the Tennessee River.24 The
following year Jackson became a station, and Forked Deer District took
the name of Memphis District, In 1837, the Conference was hold at Somer-
ville, and the Wesley District ias »‘.‘ created, the third west of the Tenn-
essee River.2D
Largely because of the Great Revival and the accompanying camp-
’ meetings in the region of Tennessee and Kentucky, the membership_of the
Western Conference approximately tripled between 1801 and 1805.68
Although attended by excesses, the Revival strengthened and invigorated
‘ the church, and by 1808 the Western Conference had five districts and
nearly 20,000 members.27 The Revival began in 1799 but had run its
course by 1811, when a series of earthquakes in the Central Mississippi
region effected another great increase in the membership of the church.28
The General Conference of 1812 divided the Western Conference into
the Ohio and Tennessee Conferences; the Tennessee Conference was to in-
clude Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and
parts of Kentucky and lndiana. It was composed of the Holston, Cumberland,
21. Smnuel Cole Williams, Beginnings of West Tennessee, 185, 186;
McFerrin, op, cit., ll, 591. ___~~— mH·—~~M-—_—_
22. wiiiisiieij Op. cit., iss, 187.
25. Ibid., 187;-Mcfefrin, op. cit., ll, 501.
  TEE., iii, sas; v—:ii1i?CFS,‘@. Cie., isv, 188.
25. Ucferrin, op. cit., lll, 550T'55Z? Williams, op. cit., 188.
26. Posey, op.—EitT,_5l. __- ——_
27. Ibid., 82} _§;cellent descriptions of the Revival meetings and
eeee¤ae¤%`§§h¤S¤eS are in ibid., 17-50, and W. P. Strickland, ed.,
Autobiography of Peter C»rt?rigtt, The Beckwoods Preacher, 45-55. Being
 §F**?lii}`E@T§ iEF¤ii§`&‘5T.·e§”Te1i. i.a;iyR€ C1 ei ei; Revival.
(MeTyeire, op. cit., 494).
· ze., pes;}   cit., ss-55.
I"

 ·7
- 5 -
\ Nashville, Wabash, Mississippi, and Illinois Districts.29 The first
I session cf thc Tennessee Ccnfcrcncc was held at Fountain Head Church
in Sumner County. Bishop Francis Asbury was present and Bishop
William McKcndrcc presidcd.3O The membership included 20,655 white
and 2,066 colored persons. There were thirty—six traveling prcachcrs.3l
With the subsequent organization cf other conferences, the territory
of the Tennessee Conference was rcduccd tc its prose t dimrnsions, com-
prising only Niddlc Tennessee, except that portion west of a line running
approximately from the western boundary of Marion County to the wcsfcrn
boundary cf Scott County, parallel to thc Cumberland M0untcins.Z2 Thc
Hclstcn Conference, crgunizcd in 1824, includes all of East T»nnosscc :.1
that part cf Middle Tennessee excluded from the Tennessee Ccnfcrcncc.33
At the General Conference of 1840, the Memphis Annual Conference was
created from thc Tennessee Annual Conference with jurisdiction over all
of "J2ckscn’s Purchase" and North Mississippi, embracing all of Tennessee
between thc Tennessee and Mississippi Rivcrs,°4 In that ycur thc Mcmphis
Conference had a mcmbcrship cf 12,497 white and 1,995 colored, 69 itin-
crant preachers, und IBS Iccvl preachers, cf which approximately 8,000
whites and 1,000 colored p rscns ucrc in West Tcmncsscc.55
Divisicp and Reunion
The institution cf slavery was probably thc most impcrtcnt of thc
factors which divided American Methodism. Other schisms which occurred
' involved chiefly church government. The ccntrcvcrsy over slavery in the
cightccn-thirties and forties had n profound effect on thc churches,
particularly thc Methodist Episcopal Church, Thc picnccr Iwthcdists had
cppcscd slavery. John Wesley denounced the slave trade as "thut cxccrublc
sum of all villiunics", and, when the Methodist Episcopal Church was OTg&H—
ized in 1734, thc Gcncral Rules fcrbndc thc "buying cr selling the
bodies and souls cf men, women, cr children, with an intention tc cnslcvc
them", and gradual cmamciputicn cf the slaves was mdvccatcd¤56 The Meth-
cdists, however, wcrc unable to cnfcrcc this anti-slavery Icgislnticn;
economic and scciul interests favoring slavery became prominent soon nftcr
thc founding of thc Methodist Episcopal Church,uLd bccausc of thc rapid
growth of the cotton industry, many who had favored emancipation advocated
thc continuation cf slavery as necessary For thc economic wclfarc of thc
29. NcFcrrin, cp. cit., III, 519, 520; Pcscy, cp. cit., 53; Tcnncsscc
Ccnfcrcncc, J0urnuI_(I§I§), 99; DuB0:c, cp. cit., EIU._m—
ac. 1w.-?Y»iET6p. Cm., 11;, sam; 1>¤§Ey,T§. Cm., 55.
51. IuB0sc, 0yi"ci{TT'4l9. l- ——~
52. D0ctriuc€“émH—$1scipIimc of thc Methodist Church, 1940, 515.
:55 , ii5i?iCj"?f1T,°‘ `_""`°" `" ‘”` ""_"` `"'-""  
34. IEIE.; NcFerrin, cu. cit., III, 509.
35. VIIIiams, cp. citTT I§§?
' 36. NcTycirc, gig. EYE., 376; Paul Neff Gurccr, !EE_!EQEg§gE§E_&£g
Om, People, 41.,
T

 - 5 -
_ I Southern Statcs.37 The action cf the Tennessee Conference, however, in
refusing in 1819 t0 admit on trial twc candidates who were slavchcldcrs
`C indicated that sentiment among Tcnncsscs Ncthcdists had not crystallized,
and while thc rsfussl brought forth a minority rcpcrt, thc action of thc
Conference was not rcvcrscd.58
Thc Mcthcdists gradually abstcd their advocacy cf emancipation, until
in 1840 thc General Conference declared that thc holding of sluvcs would
no longer constitute s bar tc positions in thc Methodist Episcopal Church.
The mcrc moderate mttitudc cf thc Mcthcdists toward slsvcry msdc possible
thc extension cf thcir work smcng thc Ncgrc slavcsc Southern planters
who formerly denounced kwthcdism as QH sbcliticnist mcvcmcnt encouraged
thc Methodist itincrsnts sent tc their plantations tc promote thc moral
and religious welfare cf thc slaves. In 1860, for cxamplc, there wcrc
mcrc than two hundred thousand Ncgrccs who wcrc members of thc Methodist
Episcopal Church, S0uth,59
Thc growing storm of abolition, mcthcrcd in Ncw England, sccn
sprccd within thc Methodist Episccpsl Church. In May 1845, u group cf
anti-slavery Mcthcdists, dcsphiring cf thcir attcmpts tc commit thc Mcth-
cdist Episcopal Church tc abcliticnism, withdrew and organized the Wesleyan
Methodist Ccnnccticn cr Church¤4O The ubcliticn stcrm, however, did not
abate and at thc General Ccmfcrcncc of l8i4 u ccmmittcc of nine rcprc·
scnting all sections cf thc church was cnpcintcd tc adjust thc difficulties
amicablyc Thc ccmmittcc prepared u report kncwn as thc Plan cf Scpu~
· rcticn.4l Adcptcd by c lcrgc majority, this plan rcccmmsndcd that, should
l thc Annual Ccmfcrcnccs im thc slnvchclding status find it ncccsshry tc
_ units intc h distinct ccclcsiasticcl connection, thc situation should bc
mst with Christian kindness and strictest cquity. The Plan cf Separation
specified thc mccns by which thc property cf thc Church was tc bc dividwd
and outlined thc boundaries bctwccn thc twc sccticns cf Methodism. The
delegates agrccd by an overwhelming majority tc thc split in thc church.42
The Annual Conferences in the Southern Stctcs sent dclcgates to thc
Louisville Convention, and, cr May 17, 1845, by a vctc cf nircty-four tc
three, thc convention dcclhrcd that "it is right, cxpcdicnt, and ncccsscry
Cu erect thc Annual Ccmfcrcnccs rcprcscntcd in this Ccmvchticn, intc L
distinct ccclcsissticcl ccrncxicn", tc bc known vs thc Mcthcdist Episccpul
Church, Scuth.43 Thc jurisdiction cf thc Gcrcrcl Ccnfcrchcc cf thc
Mcthcdist Episcopal Church was dissclvcd, but cthcrwisc vcry fcw changes
57. NcTycirc, cp. citq, 588; Gurbcr, cp. cit., 42, 43.
ss, 1·,:¤1¤m~i¤, EE.   111, iss-isz." ""
39. Gsrbcr, cpT—citTT 42, 45¤
40, lbid,, 46T @??YT. T. Watkins, Out cf Aldcrsgatc, 84, 85,
él. HcT§circ, cp. cit., 656. The iFELEictc Csntssssrsy ccnccrncd
Bishcp Jamcs O, AmEYhw_??L hud iphcritcd tmc slaves and whc mnrricd u
woman owning scvcrcl mcrc°(Ibid., 623).
42. Ibid,, 658, 659¤ __—_
45o History cf thc Orq;rizcti·n nf thc Mcth dist Episcopal Church,
' S;uth, Cchprghchair Edings_cT thc Gcncrnl Ccnfcrcnccg
EE,u€HE¤`K&}TG?TcZ7E*c}2Tc€?§Y?.H1“+;"?E*'@¤érs1 Cchvtgigi, 185.
 

 C - 7 —
were made. The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, cane into existence
without change in policy, doctrine, or rules from those of the hhthodist
Episcopal Church.44 At the time of the division, the Methodist Episcopal
Church had a membership of 689,516, the Methodist Episcopal Church, Soutl,
462,851; and the latter church had l24,8ll Negro mcmbers.45 In 1958,
there were 4,750,281 members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and
2,919,197 in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.46
There was much controversy and discord between the Methodist Epis-
copal Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, due to various
causes, during the period from 1845 to 1910.47 The appointment in Decom-
ber, 19lO by the Joint Commission on Federation of a special committee to
devise a plan for the unification of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the
Methodist Protestant Church, and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South,
made Methodist unification a popular topic of discussion in the following
two decades,
An investigation in l9l2 showed a large percentage of duplication
of services by the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Episcopal
Church, South, in the Western, Southern, and border states.&8 As late as
1924, the Southern and Northern Methodists were engaged in competitive
work in at least twenty—four states, ard in some places, the Methodist
Protestants were a third rival,49 The Methodist Episcopal Church, for
example, had reorganized the holston Conference in Tennessee in 1844, and
· maintained it in conpetition with a conference of the Methodist Episcopal
Church, South, having the same name and territory until the 1959 merger.5O
· The Plan of Union prepared by the Joint Cormission provided for
the unification of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Meth dist Episco-
pal Church, South, and the Methodist Protestant Church into one denomina-
tion, to be called "The Methodist Church." The articles of religion were
tc be those held in common by the three uniting churches.5l There was to
be a quadrennial General Conference with legislative power, subject to
five restrictive rules, with jurisdiction over all matters distinctly
connectiona1.b2 The episcopacy was retained, and the Methodist Protestant
Church was authorized to elect two bishops to becone bishops of The Meth~
odist Church.55 There was to be equal representation of clergy and laymen
44. McTyeire, ope cit., 642, 643,
45. Garber, opT—citTT'55.
46. Ibid, __ Um-
47. EE;_a full treatment of the differences, soo Garber, op. cit.,
54-90. -__ -__—
48. Garber, cp. cit., 91.
ia. rent, s`2T "`
50. helston Annual Conference of the Methodist Church, Journal, (1940),
54, 94, 260, 261, hereafter cited as Hrlston Confurence, JohrhElT_
5l. The Plan of Union Proposed for the Methodist Church, 5;—Dectrines
and Discipline_Zf_i}£TlEEd[ti?§;Tihu;§Q—dEMKz-l8:w--—~—_w“
• *_—E2. The-Ti}ETtTrEni;n Trdp?sed”fZr`thZ—Mbthodist Church, 4, 6.
ss. Eid., nj`12. `“" “"'““ `

 - 3 -
1 in the General, Jurisdictichal, and Central Confer©nc@s.54 Thu Annual
— Conferences were to be composed of all traveling praachers in full com-
nection with them, together with n layman from each pastoral chmrgo.55
A Judicial Council was to determine the legality and constitutionality
of actions of the legislutive bodies, thc lcgal decisions mide by the
bishops, and the actions takwm by any connccbional board of thu church.56
Provisions were mndc for six Jurisdictionul Coufcrcnccs,57 composed
of the Northeastern, S0uth©nstcrn,58 C@ntra1,59 North Ccntrnl, South
Central, and Western. The Jurisdicticnal Conferences were to promote thc
cvaugelistic, educational, missionary, and benevolent ihtcrcsts of the
Church, to provide for intcrcsts und institutions within their boundaries,
and to elect bish¤ps.6O
The Methodist Protestant Church was the first to ratify the P1un
of Union in 1956.61 The General Conference of 1956 of the Methodist
Episcopal Church approved the Plan of Union by a vote of 470 to 85, and
the members of the annual and 1ny conferences approved it by u vote of
17,259 to 1,862.62 The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, did not wait
until the General Cahfcrcxcc of 1958 to approve the Plan of Union and in
1957 the Annual Conferences of that church approved the Plan bynu vote
of 7,650 to 1,247, cighty—six percent in favor 0f unificuti0n.6° Whom
the P1an was presented to the General Conference it wxs ncccptcd by A
vote of 434 to 26.64
The Plan of Union provided for a Uhitihg Conference to bc held within
twelve months after the firal approval of the Plan to harmonize and com-
· binc the rules, regulations, and rituals cf the threw churches; to
provide for the unification, ccordihation, and correlation of the com-
ncctichal boards and publishing interests of the three churches; and to
design a plan which would control and safeguard all permanent funds and
other property interests of the three churchcs.65 Those steps were taken
in April 1940 at the Uniting Conference which met in Kansas City,
Miss0uri.66
54. Ibid., 4, 7, 8.
55. T1E?a‘,, 9.
56, EEE?-T., 12.
57. 1E1E., 10; Doctrines and Discipline mf the Mcthodist Church, 1940,
28, 29. __—”* _~_—*_*__-__—__——___——“_`*-__*_-—~-_————*-_-_—_— _“——
58. Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida,
A1ab&wa, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Cuba.
59. The Negro Annual Cenfnrchccs, the Negro Mission Confcrcncws und
Missions in the United States.
60. The Plan cf Union Priposcd for the Methodist Church, 11, 12.
61.       __— -_-_. U-_`_-—` —-__"
62. 1bm,, 157., ""`
65. TEE`., 129.
64. HSE,
· 65. Th}_P1;h cf Union Pr¤p¤sed fcr tha Ruth dist Church, 15, 14.
66.   QHIWT `i`§ZOZ—`
f

 - 9 -
— In 1959, the Methodist Church had become the largest Protestant
denomination in America, with a membership of approxinntely 7,85O,00O.67
There were eighty—three Methodist preachers when the Christmas Conference
of 1784 was held; there arc now about 25,000 clergymen in the Methodist
Church and nearly forty bishcps.68 Poverty was an outstanding cnuracttr—
istic of pioneer Methodism and Bishop Asbury once exclaimed; "We have the
poor but they have no money, and the worldly wicked rich we do not choose
to ask."69 In the Methodist Church there are now 45,500 churches and
20,000 parsonages; the total property value of the churches approximates
é3soo_,ooc,ooe.7
The Methodist Book Concern, begun in 1789 in the basement of a rented
house in Philadelphia, for many years experienced serious financial diffi-
cu1ties.71 In January, 1818, the first number of the Methodist Kmgazine,
a monthly periodical, appeared, and in 1826, the ChristiFn`AdvocHte:”the·
first official Methodist weekly periodical, beganmphbliggtihicwe Progress
in the field of education has also been made, At the Christmas Conference
in 1784 plans were mode to establish a Methodist College and in 1785,
Bishop Asbury laid the cornerstone of Cokesbury College.§5 Early attempts
at higher education proved discouraging, but the lhthodist Church new has
159 educational institutions, and an enrollment of 95,000 students.74
The missionary program has also expanded, and in 1958, the Methodists had
more than one thousand missiorcries.75 Naturally, there is a great con-
trast today between the religious education of pioneer and modern Meth-
’ cdists; early preachers had little opportunity for educational advancement.
A book depository was established in Nashville in 185&76 and the
` Methodists began the publication of church litcrrture in the Nashville
region with the issuance in the following year by Lewis Garrett and John
Newland Maffitt of a weekly paper, the Western Mothodist.77 In 1856,
the General Conference took over the pap;} and €hdnged_its name to the
Southwestern Christian Advocate.78 After the establishment of the heth-
odist Episcopd1~Chureh,~86uth,—the paper and the book depository were
allotted to the Southern Church, but it was not until 1854 that the
67. Garber, op. cit., 152. The latest corsus figures, those of 1956,
shew a total frrMthe—three gr~ups of 5,719,754 ncmhers.(Ccnsus of
Reiipqisus Bones, 1956, suiietls rs. 27, Methodist s¤».ue?,"`isUT"‘
68. —Ghrber, ops cit., 152. `-~w——*·“~
ss, Quoted 1§f‘n>lZ?T, 152.
70. Ibid., 152,-155. The 1956 Census figures shew 0 total of 51,501
church edifices valued at $495,504,0l5.(C