From the earliest days of the Methodist movement, our church has been in a struggle with the oppression of others based on the color of their skin. While our founder John Wesley was firm in his opposition to slavery, his best friend, the evangelist George Whitfield, was a slave owner and used the bible to support that practice. While the leader of the American movement, Francis Asbury, was personally against slavery, he went to great efforts to compromise with Methodists in the South who argued that it was justified in the scriptures. Our communion would split over the issue of slavery, and when we reunited in the 1930’s, we would participate in a system of churchwide segregation aimed to marginalize people of color. During the movement for civil rights in the 1950’s and ’60’s, some Methodist pastors would march beside our African-American leaders, while others would oppose efforts to bring forth change. When the United Methodist Church was formed in 1968, there was an intentional effort to oppose racism of all forms, and yet, when if we are honest, racism has continued with us to this day.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
It is our hope and prayer that we can be a church in which all people are welcomed to full participation, where all people can carry out the calling that God has given them, and where all people are treated with dignity and respect.
This page contains information on the United Methodist positions regarding racism and resources for further study and conversation. We ask all who are a part of our church to be in prayer and study regarding both individual and systemic racism in our nation. For us, growing in Christ means that we do all we can to live in the way of Jesus, the Light of the World who welcomes ALL into his kingdom.