Methodist church music
- Nicholas Temperley
Methodism refers to a group of Protestant churches whose origins may be traced to a religious society organized by John Wesley (1703–91) (see Wesley family), which was aimed not so much at theological or liturgical reform but rather at restoring Christianity in its fullest sense, that is, as guide to life on earth and as means to salvation. It acquired its nickname, which was eventually accepted by Wesley, from its emphasis on order and method in daily life, and its strong organization by classes, circuits and conferences. In course of time there have been many splits and reunions within Methodism, due to theological, social and national differences; only the most significant ones are mentioned in this article.
Although it was really the great preacher George Whitefield (1714–70) who initiated the Methodist Revival in both England and America, John Wesley soon came to dominate it. His strong personality and organizing skills made it a formidable movement that overcame the immense resistance it encountered, while the poetic gifts of his brother Charles (...