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Free Methodist Church - Timeline Event

Founder

Benjamin Titus Roberts and John Wesley Redfield

Time Period

1860

Description

Clergymen Benjamin Titus Roberts (1823-1893) in the East and John Wesley Redfield (1810-1863) in the Midwest founded the Free Methodist Church. Both men had accused the Methodist Episcopal Church of increasing worldliness (e.g., participation in secret societies, ornate church buildings, and pew rentals). Moreover, they were Holiness advocates who supported Phoebe Palmer’s "shorter way" to entire sanctification. After being expelled from their local religious bodies, they joined together to form the Free Methodist Church, with the word "free" indicating free pews, freedom for slaves, and freedom in worship.

Today, the Free Methodist Church continues to combine traditional Methodist doctrine and government with the possibility of entire sanctification emphasized by the Holiness movement.

Interactive Timeline(s)

Methodist Events and People

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Religious Groups

Timeline Entries for the same religious group: Holiness Family
Holiness Family: Other ARDA Links
Holiness Family: Religious Family Tree
Methodist/Pietist Family: Other ARDA Links
Methodist/Pietist Family: Religious Family Tree

Photographs

First Free Methodist Church building erected- Hathi Trust
First Free Methodist Church building erected- Hathi Trust

Benjamin T Roberts portrait- Internet Archive
Benjamin T Roberts portrait- Internet Archive

John Wesley Redfield portrait- Internet Archive
John Wesley Redfield portrait- Internet Archive

Campground at Pekin, NY, where the Free Methodist Church was organized- Hathi Trust
Campground at Pekin, NY, where the Free Methodist Church was organized- Hathi Trust

Free Methodist World Ministries Center- Wikimedia Commons- photo by Xnatedawgx (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Free Methodist World Ministries Center- Wikimedia Commons- photo by Xnatedawgx (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Book/Journal Source(s)

Lippy, Charles, and Peter Williams, 2010. Encyclopedia of Religion in America Washington, D.C.: CQ Press.
Reid, Daniel, Robert Linder, Bruce Shelley, and Harry Stout, 1990. Dictionary of Christianity in America Downers Grove, IL.

Web Page Contributor

Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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