THE HISTORY OF THE METHODIST CHURCH
The history of the Methodist Church starts as follows: “In 1729 two young men in England, reading the Bible saw that they could not be saved without holiness, followed after it and incited others so to do.” This was the rise of Methodism, as described in the words of its founders, John and Charles Wesley of Oxford University, presbyters of the Church of England.
In 1739 John Wesley in London organized the “United Societies in Europe” for religious instruction. Because of their regular habits of study and mode of life they were called “Methodists.”
This new spiritual movement spread to America and in the year 1766 Philip Embury a local preacher from Ireland, began to preach in New York City and formed a society known as the John Street Church, the oldest Methodist Church in the city. Within the short space of 18 years the Methodist societies had grown so rapidly that on December the 24th, 1784 the Christmas Conference was held in Baltimore when 60 preachers met with Dr. Coke and his companions. They organized the Methodist Episcopal Church, and adopted the Articles of Religion and the Sunday Service prepared by Mr. Wesley.
“In the year 1828” a group of earnest and Godly persons largely moved by an insistence on lay representation separated and became the Methodist Protestant Church.”
In 1844 there occurred another division, the main cause being that of slavery.
In the year 1939 (May 10) at Kansas City, Missouri, there was held the Uniting Conference, when “The Methodist Episcopal Church, The Methodist Episcopal Church South and The Methodist Protestant Church joined hearts and hands under the one caption, The Methodist Church. We are now together representing of 8,000,999 members. This short history of Methodism will help explain certain figures in connection with the beginning of our own Roseland Church.
Our first record (and we have the original) is dated December 4, 1822 and reads as follows:
“We the subscribers being sensible of the Benefits of having the Gospel of Free Salvation Preached among us Do Promise to pay to Demas Harrison & Benjamin Burras the several sums annexed to our names one half in three months and the other half in six months from Date for the purpose of Building a Methodist Meeting House Near the School house in South Caldwell or North Livingston December 4th 1822.