The Missionary Spirit
The History of Mission of the Methodist Protestant Church
Ruth A. Daugherty
BOARD OF GLOBAL MINISTRIES
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Early in the life of American Methodism, a reform movement arose that sought to make the church a genuine lay movement. These reformers were also opposed to bishops as the ruling executives of the regional organizations known as annual conferences. After several years of unsuccessful agitation within the Methodist Episcopal Church, the dissidents formed their own denomination in 1830, the Methodist Protestant Church. It reforms were only partial, however, because the constitution of the Methodist Protestant Church restrict the vote to clergy, all of whom were male and 'every white, lay member,' thus limiting the participation not only of women but also of African-American members. The mission of the Methodist Protestant Church was characterized by a commitment to educating indigenous leadership, support chiefly through annual conferences and an interest in ecumenicity.
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