We belong to a wider family called the Free Methodist Church, which is an international evangelical denomination with roots in the Anglican / Methodist tradition.
The Free Methodist Church was birthed from five core freedoms:
1. Freedom of all races to worship and live together. The FMC were and are abolitionists. We worked for the freedom of the slaves in 1860 and participated in the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. We formed abolitionist groups to free the slaves in our own nation and we have created an abolitionist movement today to set slaves free throughout the world: www.setfreemovement.org.
2. Freedom of women to be treated equal in the church, at home, and in the world. The FMC ordains women to serve in the church and teaches equality in marriage. In harmony with a long tradition of equal opportunity for women to serve in the church from the days of the early church meeting in house to today’s recognition that God calls and gifts women as well as men to serve the church, we affirm God’s call and equip God’s leaders to serve.
3. Freedom of the poor to be treated with dignity in the church and in the world. The FMC ended the practice of requiring the poor to sit in the “free pews” at the back of the sanctuary and made all pews “free.” This commitment to leave socio-economic distinctions and prejudices outside the sanctuary and invite all people into true fellowship and acceptance is an ongoing commitment of our church.
4. Freedom of the laity to be given authority and decision-making positions within the church. The FMC ended the clergy domination of the church and opened up a consistent partnership with clergy and laity working together to do God’s work. This elevation of laity to use their spiritual gifts alongside those given pastoral positions enriches all aspects of life in the church and protects against institutional abuse.
5. Freedom of the Holy Spirit in worship. The FMC gives freedom to each local congregation to follow the Spirit’s leading on how they worship. We seek both form and freedom in worship, both structure and spontaneity. Whether a local church has liturgical, traditional, or contemporary worship (or some combination), the hope is always that the Holy Spirit will indwell our gatherings and lead us into God’s glory.
You can learn more about the Free Methodist Church at fmcusa.org.