Whats the difference between methodist and united methodist?

A question from a reader: can anyone help me out???? whats the biggest difference????

cuz I told my BF I go to a Methodist church, i meant to say United Methodist ( his family is BIG on religion, his dads a pastor)…. Should I be worried or is there not really much difference??

Thanks for the help, and God Bless You!!

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5 Responses to “Whats the difference between methodist and united methodist?”

  • tattoomomkc says:

    One line of scripture.

  • DamnStraightSucka says:

    from what i know both follow what u would call Wesleyan theology
    i think they r just different organizations
    like administratively

  • Rico JPA says:

    One focuses on methodology and one focuses on unity?

  • Uncle Joe says:

    They are all affiliated.
    If you do a Wikipedia search for “World Methodist Council” you can find all the details.

  • TinyDancer says:

    Methodist and Methodism are names for a movement started by John Wesley. There are many churches named Methodist; anyone can use that name if they want to.

    So saying you go to a Methodist church is correct – you do. You just didn’t say which Methodist church. But since the UMC (United Methodist Church) is the biggest in the US, chances are his dad, the pastor, would assume you meant the UMC.

    But it is a good idea to get in the habit of always saying United Methodist Church, so people know you mean the UMC.

    I have copied below a little of the basic info from Wikipedia.


    The Methodist movement originated in Epworth, North Lincolnshire, England. It began with a group of men, including John Wesley and his younger brother Charles, as a movement within the Church of England in the 18th century.

    The movement focused on Bible study and a methodical approach to scriptures and Christian living. The term “Methodism” was a pejorative term given to a small society of students at Oxford who met together between 1729 and 1735 for the purpose of mutual improvement.

    They were accustomed to receiving communion every week, fasting regularly, and abstaining from most forms of amusement and luxury. They also frequently visited the sick and the poor, as well as prisoners.

    The early Methodists acted against perceived apathy in the Church of England, preaching in the open air and establishing Methodist societies wherever they went. These societies were made up of individual classes – intimate groups where individuals were encouraged to confess their sins to one another and to build each other up.


    The United Methodist Church was formed in 1968 as a result of a merger between the Evangelical United Brethren (EUB) and the Methodist Church. The former church had resulted from mergers of several groups of German Methodist heritage. There was no longer any need or desire to worship in the German language. The merged church had approximately 9 million members as of the late 1990s. While United Methodist Church in America membership has been declining, associated groups in developing countries are growing rapidly.

    American Methodist churches are generally organized on a connectional model, related but not identical to that used in Britain. Pastors are assigned to congregations by bishops, distinguishing it from presbyterian government. Methodist denominations typically give lay members representation at regional and national meetings (conferences) at which the business of the church is conducted, making it different from episcopal government. This connectional organizational model differs further from the congregational model, for example of Baptist, and Congregationalist Churches, among others.

    In addition to the United Methodist Church, there are over 40 other denominations that descend from John Wesley’s Methodist movement. Some, such as the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Free Methodists, the Wesleyan Church (formerly Wesleyan Methodist), the Congregational Methodist Church and First Congregational Methodist Church are explicitly Methodist.

    The Primitive Methodist Church is a continuing branch of the former British Primitive Methodist Church. Others do not call themselves Methodist, but are related to varying degrees. The Evangelical Church was formed by a group of EUB congregations who dissented from the merger which formed the United Methodist Church.

    The Salvation Army was founded by William Booth, a former Methodist, and derives some of its theology from Methodism. Similar “social justice” denominations include the Church of the Nazarene and the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

    Some of the Charismatic or Pentecostal churches such as the Pentecostal Holiness Church and the Assemblies of God also have roots in or draw from Wesleyan thought.

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