John Wesley and the Methodist Church
Methodism is rooted in 18th century Anglicanism. John Wesley, a Church of England minister, would meet regularly with others, in Oxford, United Kingdom, for bible study and prayer. They were known as “Methodists”. According to John Wesley, this meant “the methodical pursuit of biblical holiness”. In 1739 he began preaching to large crowds and soon thousands would come to hear him preach. The United Methodist Church began in 1968 in Dallas, Texas.
Methodists beliefs reflect orthodox Christianity and stand within the Protestant tradition of the Christian Church. They placed emphasis on “practical divinity” or Christian living and putting faith and love into action.
Richard Allen and the AME Church
The African Methodist Episcopal Church, or AME church, was organized in 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Richard Allen, a former Delaware slave, and others were members of St. George’s Methodist Church when they were pulled off their knees while praying because they were black. Although most wanted to continue to affiliate with the Protestant Episcopal Church, Allen was set to create an African Congregation of his own. In 1807 and 1815, Allen successfully sued for the right of his congregation to exist as the AME.
The motto of the AME Church is “God Our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, the Holy Spirit Our Comforter, Humankind Our Family” and it can be used as a short summary of the church’s beliefs.