In 1735, John and Charles Wesley went to America to teach the gospel to the American Indians in the colony of Georgia. John Wesley returned to England and met with a group of clergy he respected.
A small group of students, including John Wesley, Charles Wesley and George Whitefield, met on the Oxford University campus.They focused on Bible study, methodical study of scripture and living a holy life.Other students mocked them, saying they were the "Holy Club" and "the Methodists", being methodical and exceptionally detailed in their Bible study, opinions and disciplined lifestyle.Eventually, the so-called Methodists started individual societies or classes for members of the Church of England who wanted to live a more religious life.The United Methodist Church (UMC) is a mainline Protestant denomination that is part of the Methodist movement.In the 19th century its main predecessor was a leader in Evangelicalism.
Founded in 1968 by the union of the Methodist Church (USA) and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley in England as well as the Great Awakening in the United States.
In the United States, the UMC ranks as the largest mainline Protestant denomination, the largest Protestant church after the Southern Baptist Convention, and the third largest Christian denomination.
As of 2014, worldwide membership was about 12 million: 7.2 million in the United States, It is a member of the World Council of Churches, the World Methodist Council, and other religious associations.
In 2015, Pew Research estimated that 3.6% of the U.
S population, or 9 million adult adherents, self-identify with the United Methodist Church revealing a much larger number of adherents than registered membership.
The movement which would become The United Methodist Church began in the mid-18th century within the Church of England.