Fifty years ago, Evangelical United Brethren (EUB) Bishop Rueben H. Mueller and Methodist Bishop Lloyd C. Wicke joined hands over a table laden with symbols--the Bible, hymnals, books of Discipline and a 307-page "Plan of Union."
Thirteen hundred delegates and ten thousand visitors met in Dallas, Texas on April 23, 1968, proclaiming the formation of the newly-constituted United Methodist Church. Over ten million Methodists and three-quarters of a million members of the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged into one of the largest Protestant denominations in the world. Flags from fifty-three countries testified to the breadth of the new reality.
At the same time, the systematic racism of the former Methodist Church's segregating Central Jurisdiction began dismantling. That same year, the United Methodist Council of Bishops signed a concordat with the British Methodist Conference committing to ongoing dialogue and increasing shared experiences saying "members of the same family belong together and British and American Methodists are the same family."
With this resource, compiled from histories of the traditions that merged to form The United Methodist Church, the power of history is revealed not merely as remembrance, but as active engagement, the past pointing to purpose, the essence that makes us who we are, forming how we live-into the future.
Use this resource for your personal faith journey and to share with others in study.
Alfred T. Day, III, General Secretary
General Commission on Archives and History, The United Methodist Church