What Is a Free Methodist?
Wallenpaupack Church is a Free Methodist congregation. Historically, the Free Methodist Church was organized at Pekin, New York, August 23rd, 1860. The first bishop of the new church was Benjamin Titus (B.T.) Roberts. He was a champion for equal rights (especially for women), writer, publisher, Christian educator, and holiness preacher. The influence of his character and ministry continue today.
In 1860, the “free” in Free Methodist emphasized certain basic freedoms found in the Scriptures: Human freedom, upholding the right of every person to be free, denying the right of anyone to hold slaves.
· Freedom and simplicity in worship;
· Free seats in church, so the poor will not be kept out or discriminated against;
· Freedom and openness in relationships and loyalties so the truth may always be spoken freely (avoiding vows of secrecy and secret societies i.e., Free Masons, Order of Eastern Star, Elks, Eagles);
· Freedom of lay persons to be fully involved at all levels of decision making;
· Freedom from materialism in order to help the poor.
The biblical principles on which these freedoms are based are as important today as ever.
We are “methodists,” believing in a disciplined, simple lifestyle. Our witness to the world is through enthusiastic, orderly methods.
(From the pamphlet, “What is a Free Methodist?”) Download this brochure below.
The hierarchy of the Free Methodist church is similar to that of other denominations, but differs in its practical application:
There are three Bishops who oversee the work being done in the United States. They are Bishop David Kendall (Central US), Bishop David Roller (Eastern US), and Bishop Matt Thomas (Western US). These men, as well as a group of people called the General Board of Administration, oversee the work of the conferences.
Each Region of the US is divided into conferences. We are in the Acts 12:24 Churches of the Mid-Atlantic Conference (or you can just say Mid-Atlantic Conference). A conference superintendent oversees the conference. Our superintendent’s name is Dave Harvey. Each conference is divided into districts. We are in the Wilkes-Barre District under the Leadership of Reverend Al Sones.