D. The Development of The Wesleyan Methodist Church

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D. The Development of The Wesleyan Methodist Church

16. The revival of holiness which swept the Wesleyan Methodist Connection introduced a new emphasis on evangelism. The need for organized efforts of church extension and the need to conserve converts led to the gradual development of a more formal organization as a church rather than a connection. In 1891, the name was changed to the Wesleyan Methodist Connection (or Church) of America, and the denomination moved beyond a leadership largely confined to publications (editor and publisher) to elect a general missionary superintendent. Gradually other departmental executives were added. In 1947, the name was changed to The Wesleyan Methodist Church of America, and a central supervisory authority was established with the General Conference president as the full-time leader of the denomination, and the Board of Administration as the central and coordinating board of control. In 1957, the denominational headquarters was moved from Syracuse, New York, where it had been for over a century, to Marion, Indiana. In 1959, the plan for a General Conference president was superseded by one calling for three General Superintendents.

17. Various ministers and local churches affiliated themselves with The Wesleyan Methodist Church at different times throughout its history. But its home base and missionary work were appreciably augmented by the affiliation of three organizations.

(1) The Hephzibah Faith Missionary Society was organized in 1893 and eventually established headquarters at Tabor, Iowa. Some of its ministers and churches in Nebraska, its Brainerd Indian School near Hot Springs, South Dakota, and its mission field in Haiti became part of The Wesleyan Methodist Church in 1948.
(2) The Missionary Bands of the World, organized in 1885 as the Pentecost Bands, an auxiliary of the Free Methodist Church, became a separate organization in 1895, changed names in 1925, and in 1958 merged its churches in Indiana and its mission fields in central India and Jamaica with The Wesleyan Methodist Church.
(3) The Alliance of the Reformed Baptist Church of Canada was organized in 1888 as the result of the sanctification of several Baptist ministers. In 1966, it merged its churches in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Maine, and its mission fields in Africa with The Wesleyan Methodist Church.

18. The Wesleyan Methodist Church became international with its spread to Canada, and the establishment, development, and acquisition through merger of mission fields in Sierra Leone, India, Colombia, Japan, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Mexico, Taiwan, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Nepal, Rhodesia, and South Africa.