Calvinistic Methodist Church

Calvinistic Methodist Church, Protestant Christian denomination, closely allied to Presbyterianism. It originated in Wales (1735–36) with the evangelistic preaching of Howell Harris, Daniel Rowlands, and others. In Wales it is considered to be the only denomination distinctly Welsh in origin, and it has developed into the most important of the Welsh nonconformist churches. The Methodist societies that evolved under the Welsh revivalists were so organized as to prevent any break with the Established (i.e., Anglican) Church. They were for a time associated with the Methodists of England; for some six years, from c.1742, George Whitefield was the leader of the Welsh Calvinists. Those in England who accepted his views, as opposed to the Arminian doctrines taught by John Wesley, either remained within the Church of England, joined the Connexion of the countess of Huntingdon, or in time became affiliated with the Congregationalists or Independents. The Welsh Calvinistic Methodists, however, held their own vigorously and grew in numbers. Thomas Charles of Bala, who joined them in 1784, was a leader of wide influence in religious and educational work. In 1811 they separated from the Established Church and set up a new church, Presbyterian in polity. In 1823 a confession of faith was adopted. Later, theological schools were founded at Bala and at Trevecca. The church was formally guaranteed autonomy in 1933. The Calvinistic Methodist Church was introduced (c.1826) into the United States by Welsh settlers in central New York state. In 1920 it united with the Presbyterian Church in the United States.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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