Our World Wide Church Family
The World Methodist Council is made up of 80 Methodist, Wesleyan and related Uniting and United Churches representing over 80 million members in 138 countries1. To find a member church in your area please use the A-to-Z guide located below. To view a member church’s contact details, click the blue arrow button. * denotes churches under the Central and South Europe Central Conference of the United Methodist Church ** denotes churches under the Northern Europe Central Conference of the United Methodist Church
Near the middle of the 19th century the Methodists in New York purchased an old ship and anchored it in the harbour as a mission for the thousands of Scandinavian immigrants and sailors who were coming to America. It was called the Bethel Ship and its pastor was Olaf Gustaf Hedström, a Swedish sailor, who had been converted in America.
In 1858 Christian Willerup, a Dane who had been converted on the Betel Ship, and was serving as superintendent in Norway, was released to become an evangelist in all the Scandinavian countries.
During a family visit to Copenhagen, Christian Willerup began public meetings. The first congregation was established in 1859, and in 1865 the church received official approval by the state, according to The Royal Constitution. It was first in 1911 that Methodism in Denmark had grown substantially enough to receive status as an Annual Conference. At the time there were 53 pastors, 27 congregations, 127 preaching stations and 3,634 members.
Now the number of members is declining. The main challenge that the UMC faces today is that of changing from a survival mode to a mission mode. Many churches are holding on to what they have rather than taking the risk of new ways of thinking and doing ministry. Another challenge is to strengthen youth work.
In the 1800s and early 1900s British missionaries gave distinguished service in the Dominican Republic, although there was a period of legal restriction on non-Roman Catholic worship.
American Methodists came to the Dominican Republic in 1885, when a Dominican layman visiting Puerto Rico was converted. He returned home, witnessed to his neighbors, and a Methodist church was born. In 1920 Methodists, United Brethren, Presbyterians, and Moravians united to form the Board of Christian Work which has been called the oldest piece of cooperative denominational work in the world. They have an excellent bookstore, daily vacation Bible schools in the summer, nationwide evangelistic campaigns each year, and medical clinics which serve hundreds of persons weekly.
The Dominican Evangelical Church is self-governing with its own charter, constitution and doctrinal statement. Membership is reported to be growing rapidly.