The United Methodist Church

Who We Are As United Methodists

The people of The United Methodist Church are part of the second largest Protestant denomination in the United States, with approximately 12.5 million members worldwide.

The United Methodist Church was formed when the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged in 1968. But we trace our heritage back to the movement begun in 1729 in England by John and Charles Wesley. Find out more about our history.

Some distinctive characteristics of the United Methodist Church are:

  • Global: We speak many languages and live in many countries—with different cultures, ethnic traditions, national histories and understandings of Christian faith and practice.
  • Connectional: Every United Methodist congregation is interconnected throughout the denomination and world via a unique structure that bears a striking resemblance to the United States’ representational government. Learn more about our structure.
  • Inclusive: All persons are welcome to attend our churches, and are invited to become members. We practice an open table approach to Holy Communion, and baptism is offered to both babies and adults.
  • Grounded in Scripture: United Methodists trust free inquiry in matters of Christian doctrine. Our faith is guided by scripture, tradition, experience and reason. Scripture is viewed as a witness of God’s creating, redeeming and sustaining relationship with God’s people. Learn more about our basic beliefs.
  • Wesleyan: The United Methodist Church has a Wesleyan heritage, and as such, places an emphasis on mind and heart (knowledge and vital piety) and putting faith and love into practice (life). Find out more about our Wesleyan heritage.
  • Concerned about social justice: For more than 200 years, The United Methodist Church and its predecessor bodies have expressed concern for God’s children everywhere — the poor, the orphaned, the aging, the sick, the oppressed and the imprisoned. Learn more about our mission and ministry as a denomination and at PVUMC.
  • Mission-oriented: Our mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. In uncomplicated terms, this means we strive to nurture followers of Christ who then reach out and teach others about the love of Jesus.
  • Ecumenical: United Methodists consider dialogue and missional cooperation between United Methodists and other Christians as a valid witness to the unity of the body of Christ.

To find out more about the United Methodist Church, and what we believe as a denomination, visit the United Methodist Church web site.

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