Once Methodism came to America, its message sparked an evangelical awakening. Summed up as "all men need to be saved, all men can be saved, all men can know they are saved, and all men can be saved to the uttermost," the message of Methodism resounded in the hearts of the early American people. After its official founding at the Christmas conference of 1784, Methodism spread quickly, becoming the largest Protestant denomination in the country. As the country moved west, Methodism moved with it. It was said that with every wagon train going west, a Methodist circuit rider went with it.It was out of this revival that the Congregational Methodist Church came into existence in 1852. Desiring to share the message of a heart-warming religion, and organize the people for discipleship, the founding fathers of the CMC exercised their faith and formed a doctrine based on the beliefs and teachings of John Wesley, yet with the spirit of American liberty.
Congregational Methodists are conservative, evangelical Christians in the Wesleyan Arminian tradition. Our faith is grounded in the infallible, inerrant, inspired Word of God. We believe that the scriptures are God's revelation of Himself to us, as well as the rule of faith, containing all the truth necessary for faith and Christian living.We believe that God has revealed Himself in three distinct persons... the Father, the source of all life; the Son, the mediator of God's life; and the Spirit, the extension of God's life to us. This 3-in-1 God has made us for fellowship with Himself.We believe that Christians are meant to be an active part of the body of Christ. The Church is where encouragement, spiritual growth, and the development of spiritual gifts occur. The Church purpose is also for equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry. Our community, our nation, even our world, is our responsibility. As John Wesley stated, "I consider all the world as my parish." The Church, therefore, is to be the physical manifestation of Jesus to its community and world. This is accomplished by the indwelling Spirit empowering the saints to continue the ministry and publish the message of Jesus.
The Congregational Methodist Church is unique in that it maintains the Wesleyan doctrine, but is representative in government.
- Each church calls its own pastor and owns its own property.
- Each church has its own conference (business meetings).
- Each church is represented in its Annual Conference and in the General Conference by elected delegates from its membership and by its pastor.
- Ministers and laymen have the same opportunities in the conferences.
- Local churches participate in the support of its denominational ministries, missions, and other cooperative endeavors, by tithes of churches' income and gifts.
It is said by some that our uniqueness as conservative methodists in a day when liberalism is very common, sets us apart. We have held true to the Gospel as Wesley preached it. We have added no doctrines, nor have we taken any away. We believe, as Wesley did, that we are to preach the Christ of the Bible and to spread spiritual holiness throughout the land.
The mission of the Congregational Methodist Church is as changeless as the heart of God, and that has never changed. God has always loved us. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16) It is still the desire of God that all should come to salvation in Jesus Christ.
This verse in 2 Peter 3:9 shows that the purpose of God is immutable. "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." Because of these treasured beginnings and the immutability of God, the Congregational Methodist Church is a 'message driven' organization that is dedicated to proclaiming and preserving the Gospel of Jesus Christ across continents, cultures and centuries.
THE HOLY TRINITY
We believe that the one God exists as three persons relating. The Father, the source of all life, shares His life, begetting the Son, and Hislife as the Spirit proceeds from the Father and Son. The three are unitedin substance, equal in the sense of being God, and are distinct in their personhood.
GOD THE FATHER
God is a sovereign, just, holy, and loving heavenly Father. It is God's nature to share Himself, and therefore exists as trinity. God shared Himself with sinful man when, because of His love for theworld, He gave His only begotten Son. Because He is the source of alllife, all living things are responsible to Him. He is a rewarder of those who obey Him, and the Judge of those who do evil.
GOD THE SON, JESUS CHRIST
God revealed Himself to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. The Eternal Son came to dwell among men as a man through the incarnation. The Holy Spirit was the agent of the incarnation, while the virgin Mary was the instrument. By taking humanity to Himself, the Son of God lost nothing of His divinity, but was fully God, and fully human. As the perfect man, without sin, He gave His life as the perfect sacrifice for man. Having offered Himself "once for all," He now exercises His High Priestly ministry by interceding on behalf of the saints, waiting forthe day when He comes again.
GOD, THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit, the third person of the trinity, is the giver and renewer of life. He works to convict of sin, convince of the truth, and call sinners to life in Christ. It is the Holy Spirit who applies the work of Christ for salvation, and sanctification, as well as the empowerment for holy living. He is a comforter, an encourager, a giver of gifts, and our guide as we walk each day for Christ.