Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What’s different or distinctive about being a United Methodist?
A: There are no exclusively United Methodist doctrines. Although we have distinctive emphases, we have no affirmations that are not also believed by other Christian groups. United Methodists have traditionally proclaimed the following emphases:

  • the availability of God’s grace for all;
  • the essential unity of faith and works;
  • salvation as personal and social;
  • the church as a community of Christ’s disciples who seek to share in God’s mission;
  • the inseparability of knowledge (intellect) and vital piety (devotion to religious duties and practices) as components of faith;
  • seeking holiness of heart and life both as individuals and in our society;
  • a cooperative ministry and mission in the world, often referred to as “connectionalism”;
  • the link between Christian doctrine and Christian living.

Q: How old is the United Methodist Church?
A: The present denomination was created in 1968 with the merger of The Methodist Church and The Evangelical United Brethren Church. The Evangelical United Brethren Church was the result of a 1946 union of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ and the Evangelical Church. The Methodist Church was the result of a 1939 union of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Protestant Church, and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
History of the United Methodist Church

Q: But aren’t there other Methodist denominations?
A: Yes, several. The World Methodist Council, organized in 1881, is an association of 68 Methodist or united churches.

Q: How is the United Methodist Church organized?
A: The denomination is a democratic and representative organization. The manner by which the church is organized, the selection of leaders, and the way it uses its resources are determined by a majority of voting members at local, regional, and international meetings called “conferences.”

Q: What does the church teach about baptism?
A: Through baptism, we accept God’s gift of grace through Jesus Christ and yield our lives to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Q: If I have already been baptized in another Christian denomination, must I be rebaptized to be a United Methodist?
A: No. Your previous baptism will be accepted, and you will only take vows of church membership.

Q: In the Communion service, what is meant by the “body and blood of Christ”?
A: The bread and wine represent the body and blood of Jesus as he spoke of them at the last supper with his disciples before being crucified.

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