Sep 13 2018

Pastor Mike at Aztec Methodist Church

Last month I talked about the splits in the Methodist Episcopal (ME) Church. The Annual Conference of 1844 had authorized the Southern conferences to make plans to withdraw, but when they did so in 1845 the northern churches began to complain about the way the Southerners were organizing, and issues arose over how the border between the two denominations would be established. When the split became official in 1846 things became much more complicated. Surprisingly the ME South church did not remove the rule against owning slaves until 1858. There were many churches in the geographical bounds of the ME South that remained a part of the ME church. They often cooperated with their Southern neighbors in various ministries, at least until the war started.

In 1850 the United Brethren licensed the first woman preacher among the Methodist related denominations, though the Wesleyan Church was not too far behind. The first Methodist work in New Mexico was an ME medical mission in Santa Fe, which led to a society there, though not yet a church. 

In 1860 There was another split in the ME Church organized by Benjamin Roberts from Buffalo, NY. The leading cause of the split was Roberts’ opposition to the custom in his church of “pew Rental”. This was the practice of letting the largest contributors reserve the “best” pews for themselves. The new church that was formed called itself the Free Methodist Church. In addition to outlawing pew rentals, this church had equal lay and clergy representation at Annual Conference. It also supported the doctrine that people could become fully sanctified immediately after their conversion. 

In 1864 the ME church established two ethnic Annual Conferences to handle work among the large influx of German immigrants in Ohio and Illinois. These conferences used the German language. This would be repeated at later dates among other European immigrants. In this year the ME discipline for the first time also encouraged the use of grape juice instead of wine for communion.

When the war ended in 1865 the ME Church assumed there would be a reunion with the churches and preachers of the ME South. But southerners felt the ME had been unethical in accepting possession of southern properties seized by the Union army during the war. Southerners also felt that the ME had supported punitive measures against the south. They voted to remain a separate denomination. The ME church responded by forming missions to the freed slaves in the south. This was also done by the AME and AME Zion denominations.

Change became center stage after the war. Temperance societies begin to become popular in churches. The ME church licensed a woman to preach in NY. The ME South passed a resolution to allow Lay representation at Annual Conference, but not quite by the 2/3 majority need for it to become effective. In 1868 the ME Church sent Thomas and Emily Harwood to establish churches among the Hispanics in northern New Mexico, while the ME South establishes several churches in southern New Mexico. In 1869 the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society is formed in the ME Church, Over the next decade the United Brethren and ME South will follow suit. The women were raising money to send missionaries overseas.

Aztec United Methodist Church

Sunday Schedule

8:45am   Sunday School
10:00am Worship Service

Community Assistance

Community assistance is available between 8:30am and 1:00pm from Monday through Thursday.

Upcoming Sermons

September 9
Seeing Results from Faith
James 2:1-17
Mark 7:24-37

September 16
Who is Jesus?
Psalm 19
Mark 8:27-38

September 23
God’s Values
James 3:13-4:3
Mark 9:30-37

September 30
God Uses Ordinary People


Child Care Available

Child care is available between 8:45am and 11:00am so that you are more easily able to attend the service and Sunday school.

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  • Today’s Reflection WE NEED TO REDEVELOP our view of friendship and its purposes. In our culture, a friend is someone you enjoy doing things with, or perhaps someone with whom you share your troubles. But history bears witness to other kinds of friendship. In the 1930s, an impressive group of men began to meet in […]

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