Our World Wide Church Family
The World Methodist Council is made up of 80 Methodist, Wesleyan and related Uniting and United Churches representing over 40.5 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
Methodism was introduced into China in 1847 by Judson Dwight Collins and Moses Clark White in Foochow with the purpose of preaching the gospel in China. Actually, the True God Church was established in Foochow in 1856, then in 1937 combined with the United Methodist Church. In 1947 the Methodist Church in the Republic of China celebrated its centennial. The Methodist group grew slowly but steadily, membership increased to 100,000 and the number of ministers was over 500. Educational, medical and social services were provided widely and had great achievement.
In 1949, the Methodist Church in the Republic of China moved to Taiwan with the government. On June 21, 1953, the Taipei Methodist Church was erected, then local churches and chapels with a baptized membership numbering over 2,500. Various types of educational, medical and social services are provided, including Tung-Hai University and Wesley’s Girls High School and several kindergartens. In 1972 the Methodist Church in the Republic of China became autonomous and the first bishop installed in 1986.
Evangelism came to Taiwan in 1624 when the Dutch occupied southern Taiwan. The first person to win souls in Taiwan for the Reformed Church of Holland was George Candidins. Christianity in Taiwan developed in a new direction following Taiwan’s retrocession to the Republic of China, particularly after the mainland fell to the communists in 1949. Churches of numerous de nominations flocked to Taiwan, and the number of Christians and clergy multiplied accordingly.
In 1996 Bishop Philip Tseng was installed. Local preachers and church leaders play active and vital roles in pastoral work and in the formulation of church policy. The church’s commitment to the future is evident in its response to the call for mission and broadening its services to the community. The Methodist Church in the Republic of China is open to the Lord’s calling to stand obediently with the majority and commit to God’s mission of building a just and peaceful society.
After the political changes of 1989/1990, various mission activities led to the birth of many independent churches. Some of them even called themselves Methodists. But this Methodist work was discontinued almost everywhere. The roots of the current UMC go back to 1995, when an independent missionary from the USA with United Methodist background went to Cluj-Napoca. Together with his wife he ministered to the people in this area, set up homegroups, distributed medicines and food, while bringing the good news by doing all this. The Romanian leaders of the churches in Miceşti and in Cluj kept in touch with him after his return to the USA in 2006. It then became obvious that for sustainability and future growth the churches should look for a church home. After visits, conversations and prayerful consideration they decided in 2011 to join the UMC. In 2014, a third church was established in the city of Sibiu. The village ministry around Cluj-Napoca, including diaconal activities and humanitarian aid, is still a very important part of the work and provides many opportunities to preach the Gospel and to put love into action.