Free Methodist Church
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Founder
Benjamin Titus Roberts and John Wesley Redfield
Time Period
1860
Description
Clergymen Benjamin Titus Roberts (1823-1893) in the East and John Wesley Redfield (1810-1863) in the Midwest founded the Free Methodist Church. Both men had accused the Methodist Episcopal Church of increasing worldliness (e.g., participation in secret societies, ornate church buildings, and pew rentals). Moreover, they were Holiness advocates who supported Phoebe Palmer’s "shorter way" to entire sanctification. After being expelled from their local religious bodies, they joined together to form the Free Methodist Church, with the word "free" indicating free pews, freedom for slaves, and freedom in worship.

Today, the Free Methodist Church continues to combine traditional Methodist doctrine and government with the possibility of entire sanctification emphasized by the Holiness movement.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Methodist Religious Events and People in American History
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Methodist Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Timeline Entries for the same religious group Holiness Family
Holiness Family: Other ARDA Links

Methodist/Pietist Family: Other ARDA Links

Photographs

First Free Methodist Church building erected- Hathi Trust

Benjamin T Roberts portrait- Internet Archive

John Wesley Redfield portrait- Internet Archive

Campground at Pekin, NY, where the Free Methodist Church was organized- Hathi Trust

Free Methodist World Ministries Center- Wikimedia Commons- photo by Xnatedawgx (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Book/Journal Source(s)
Lippy, Charles, and Peter Williams, 2010. Encyclopedia of Religion in America. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press.
Reid, Daniel, Robert Linder, Bruce Shelley, and Harry Stout, 1990. Dictionary of Christianity in America. Downers Grove, IL.
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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