Follow Jesus Christ and make Him known.
Make a positive impact in the lives of individuals, families,
communities and the world through service, stewardship,
and supportive action in and through the name of Jesus Christ.
The History, Mission, and Beliefs of the United Methodist Church
Our church springs from a rich tradition of studying and spreading the gospel to every corner of society, which was begun in 1729 in England and led by John and Charles Wesley. The United Methodist Church is the result of the 1939 merger of three Methodist bodies (Methodist Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal South and Methodist Protestant churches) and a 1968 union of the Evangelical United Brethren and The Methodist churches. The United Methodist Church now has over 10 million members worldwide. [click here for the history of First Henderson UMC]
Today we continue our devotion to creating disciples for Jesus Christ and making the good news available to anyone who desires to hear it. All preaching and teaching is grounded in Scripture, informed by Christian tradition, enlivened by personal experience and tested by reason. Along with other Christian denominations, we believe in God – expressed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The United Methodist Church is part of the church universal. All persons, regardless of race, color, national origin, status or economic condition, are welcome to attend our churches, receive Holy Communion, and be baptized and admitted into membership.
The heart of our Christian faith is Christ’s ministry of outreaching love. We are all called to minister wherever Christ would have us work to heal and free others. United Methodists believe in God’s grace, which means the unearned and loving action of God in our daily lives. In spite of suffering, violence and evil in the world, we assert that God’s grace exists everywhere. Despite any circumstances, we remain creatures brought to life by a just and loving God. The reign of God is both a present and future reality.
Sometimes people call The United Methodist Church “the church of the warm heart” because we have a history of caring about and working to create justice for all people. It all started with founder John Wesley, who felt his own heart strangely warmed nearly three centuries ago. After this experience he was compelled to reach out to England’s poorest citizens, which he did with the help of his brother Charles. Their work launched a movement that spread to the American colonies and took hold with a fervor that still exists almost 300 years later.
During that time, our hearts have led us to build almost as many schools as churches. Methodists were among the first to create institutions of learning for settlers, women and newly freed slaves. There are now 120 United Methodist institutions, including schools outside the U.S., most notably Africa University in Zimbabwe.
Today United Methodists comprise the second largest Protestant denomination in the United States. Our churches are connected by a system that guides our work and governs our policies. We continue to take the lead in social, spiritual, political, and moral concerns. In the tradition of John and Charles Wesley, our members study Scripture, encourage thoughtful debate and confront the tough issues of the day. We still lead with our hearts, keep our minds open, and welcome everyone through our doors.
The director of an orphanage watched one of the children climb a tall tree. The little girl worked her way out on a limb to place a note on the end of a branch that extended just outside the walls of the orphanage. She obviously wanted someone to find the note. The director became curious and went outside to pull the note down. In her lovely childlike writing, the girl had written, “To whoever finds this, I love you. Pass it on.”
This story illustrates the aspirations of United Methodists worldwide: saying to people inside and outside our congregations that they are accepted and loved, and inviting them to help be the instruments of God’s love to other people too.
You are welcome and encouraged to visit your local United Methodist church to learn more. We are by no means perfect, but we take seriously Christ’s call to invite all to participate in a rich experience of faith while working together to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ.
If you’re searching for something to believe in or belong to, you’re not alone. Our hearts, our minds, and our doors are always open…