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  • Statement of Faith


    CHAPTER   1:

     

    THE COMMON CONSTITUTION OF FREE METHODISM: 

     

    DOCTRINE AND MEMBERSHIP

     

               100                Preamble

                                        DOCTRINE: ARTICLES OF RELIGION

             ¶¶ 101-107         God

             ¶¶ 108-110         The Scriptures

             ¶¶ 111-113         Humankind

             ¶¶ 114-120         Salvation

             ¶¶ 121-125         The Church

             ¶¶ 126-130         Last Things

                131                Scriptural References

     

    ¶100 Preamble              

    In order that we may wisely preserve and pass on to posterity the heritage of doctrine and principles of Christian living transmitted to us as evangelicals in the Arminian‑Wesleyan tradition, ensure church order by sound principles and ecclesiastical polity, and prepare the way for the evangelization of the world and more effective cooperation with other branches of the church of Christ in the advancement of Christ’s kingdom, we, the ministers and lay members of The Free Methodist Church, in accordance with constitutional procedure, do hereby ordain, establish, and set forth the following as the Constitution of The Free Methodist Church.

    THE ARTICLES OF RELIGION

                 GOD

     ¶101 THE HOLY TRINITY

             There is but one living and true God, the maker and preserver of all things. And in the unity of this Godhead there are three persons:  the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are one in eternity, deity, and purpose; everlasting, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness.

              THE SON

    ¶103 His Incarnation

             God was Himself in Jesus Christ to reconcile people to God. Conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, He joined together the deity of God and the humanity of humankind. Jesus of Nazareth was God in human flesh, truly God and truly human. He came to save us.

             For us the Son of God suffered, was crucified, dead and buried. He poured out His life as a blameless sacrifice for our sin and transgressions. We gratefully acknowledge that He is our Saviour, the one perfect mediator between God and us.

     

    ¶104 His Resurrection and Exaltation

             Jesus Christ is risen victorious from the dead. His resurrected body became more glorious, not hindered by ordinary human limitations. Thus He ascended into heaven. There He sits as our exalted Lord at the right hand of God the Father, where He intercedes for us until all His enemies shall be brought into complete subjection. He will return to judge all people. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

     

             THE HOLY SPIRIT

    ¶105 His Person

             The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. Proceeding from the Father and the Son, He is one with them, the eternal Godhead; equal in deity, majesty, and power. He is God effective in creation, in life, and in the church. The incarnation and ministry of Jesus Christ were accomplished by the Holy Spirit. He continues to reveal, interpret, and glorify the Son.


    ¶106 His Work in Salvation

             The Holy Spirit is the administrator of the salvation planned by the Father and provided by the Son’s death, resurrection, and ascension. He is the effective agent in our conviction, regeneration, sanctification, and glorification. He is our Lord’s ever-present self, indwelling, assuring, and enabling the believer.

     

    ¶107 His Relation to the Church

             The Holy Spirit is poured out upon the church by the Father and the Son. He is the church’s life and witnessing power. He bestows the love of God and makes real the lordship of Jesus Christ in the believer so that both His gifts of words and service may achieve the common good, and build and increase the church. In relation to the world He is the Spirit of truth, and His instrument is the Word of God.

     

    THE SCRIPTURES

    ¶108 AUTHORITY

             The Bible is God’s written Word, uniquely inspired by the Holy Spirit. It bears unerring witness to Jesus Christ, the living Word. As attested by the early church and subsequent councils, it is the trustworthy record of God’s revelation, completely truthful in all it affirms. It has been faithfully preserved and proves itself true in human experience.

             The Scriptures have come to us through human authors who wrote, as God moved them, in the languages and literary forms of their times. God continues, by the illumination of the Holy Spirit, to speak through this Word to each generation and culture.

             The Bible has authority over all human life. It teaches the truth about God, His creation, His people, His one and only Son, and the destiny of all humankind. It also teaches the way of salvation and the life of faith. Whatever is not found in the Bible nor can be proved by it is not to be required as an article of belief or as necessary to salvation.

     

    ¶109 AUTHORITY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

             The Old Testament is not contrary to the New. Both Testaments bear witness to God’s salvation in Christ; both speak of God’s will for His people. The ancient laws for ceremonies and rites, and the civil precepts for the nation Israel are not necessarily binding on Christians today. But, on the example of Jesus we are obligated to obey the moral commandments of the Old Testament.    

             The books of the Old Testament are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II Kings, I Chronicles, II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi.

     

    ¶110 AUTHORITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

             The New Testament fulfills and interprets the Old Testament. It is the record of the revelation of God in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. It is God’s final word regarding humankind, sin and salvation, the world and its destiny.

             The books of the New Testament are Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, I Corinthians, II        Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I Thessalonians, II Thessalonians, I Timothy, II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, I Peter, II Peter, I John, II John, III John, Jude, Revelation.

    HUMANKIND

    ¶111 A FREE MORAL PERSON

             God created human beings in His own image, innocent, morally free and responsible to choose between good and evil, right and wrong. By the sin of Adam, humans as the offspring of Adam are corrupted in their very nature so that from birth they are inclined to sin. They are unable by their own strength and work to restore themselves in right relationship with God and to merit eternal salvation. God, the Omnipotent, provides all the resources of the Trinity to make it possible for humans to respond to His grace through faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. By God’s grace and help, people are  enabled to do good works with a free will.

     

    ¶112 LAW OF LIFE AND LOVE

             God’s law for all human life, personal and social, is expressed in two divine commands: Love the Lord God with all your heart, and love your neighbour as yourself. These commands reveal what is best for persons in their relationships with God, others, and society. They set forth the principles of human duty in both individual and social action. They recognize God as the only Sovereign. All people as created by Him and in His image have the same inherent rights regardless of sex, race, or colour. All should therefore give God absolute obedience in their individual, social, and political acts. They should strive to secure to everyone respect for their person, their rights, and their greatest happiness in the possession and exercise of the right within the moral law.

     

    ¶113 GOOD WORKS

             Good works are the fruit of faith in Jesus Christ, but works cannot save us from our sins nor from God’s judgment. As expressions of Christian faith and love, good works performed with reverence and humility are both acceptable and pleasing to God. However, good works do not earn God’s grace.


    SALVATION

    ¶114          CHRIST’S SACRIFICE

             Christ offered once and for all the one perfect sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. No other satisfaction for sin is necessary; none other can atone.

     

    ¶115 THE NEW LIFE IN CHRIST

             A new life and a right relationship with God are made possible through the redemptive acts of God in Jesus Christ. God, by His Spirit, acts to impart new life and put people into a relationship with Himself as they repent and their faith responds to His grace. Justification, regeneration, adoption, sanctification and restoration speak significantly to entrance into and continuance in the new life.

    ¶116 Justification

             Justification is a legal term that emphasizes that by a new relationship in Jesus Christ people are in fact accounted righteous, being freed from both the guilt and the penalty of their sins.

    ¶117 Regeneration

             Regeneration is a biological term which illustrates that by a new relationship in Christ one does in fact have a new life and a new spiritual nature capable of faith, love, and obedience to Christ Jesus as Lord. The believer is born again and  is a new creation. The old life is past; a new life is begun. 

    ¶118 Adoption

             Adoption is a filial term full of warmth, love, and acceptance. It denotes that by a new relationship in Christ, believers have become His wanted children freed from the mastery of both sin and Satan. Believers have the witness of the Spirit that they are children of God. 

    ¶119 SANCTIFICATION

    Sanctification is that saving work of God beginning with new life in Christ whereby the Holy Spirit renews His people after the likeness of God, changing them through crisis and process, from one degree of glory to another, and conforming them to the image of Christ.  

    As believers surrender to God in faith and die to self through full consecration, the Holy Spirit fills them with love and purifies them from sin.  This sanctifying relationship with God remedies the divided mind, redirects the heart to God, and empowers believers to please and serve God in their daily lives. 

    Thus, God sets His people free to love Him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love their neighbor as themselves.

    ¶120 RESTORATION

             Christians may be sustained in a growing relationship with Jesus as Saviour and Lord. However, they may grieve the Holy Spirit in the relationships of life without returning to the dominion of sin. When they do, they must humbly accept the correction of the Holy Spirit, trust in the advocacy of Jesus, and mend their relationships.

             Christians can sin willfully and sever their relationship with Christ. Even so by repentance before God, forgiveness is granted and the relationship with Christ restored, for not every sin is the sin against the Holy Spirit and unpardonable. God’s grace is sufficient for those who truly repent and, by His enabling, amend their lives. However, forgiveness does not give the believer liberty to sin and escape the consequences of sinning.  God has given responsibility and power to the church to restore a penitent believer through loving reproof, counsel, and acceptance.

    THE CHURCH

    ¶121 THE CHURCH

             The church is created by God; it is the people of God. Christ Jesus is its Lord and Head; the Holy Spirit is its life and power. It is both divine and human, heavenly and earthly, ideal and imperfect. It is an organism, not an unchanging institution. It exists to fulfill the purposes of God in Christ. It redemptively ministers to persons. Christ loved the church and gave Himself

             for it that it should be holy and without blemish. The church is a fellowship of the redeemed and the redeeming, preaching the Word of God and administering the sacraments according to Christ’s instruction. The Free Methodist Church purposes to be representative of what the church of Jesus Christ should be on earth. It therefore requires specific commitment regarding the faith and life of its members. In its requirements it seeks to honour Christ and obey the  written Word of God.

     

    ¶122 THE LANGUAGE OF WORSHIP

             According to the Word of God and the custom of the early church, public worship and prayer and the administration of the sacraments should be a language understood by the people. The Reformation applied this principle to provide for the use of the common language of the people. It is likewise clear that the Apostle Paul places the strongest emphasis upon rational and intelligible utterance in worship. We cannot endorse practices which plainly violate these scriptural principles.

    ¶123 THE HOLY SACRAMENTS

             Water baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the sacraments of the church commanded by Christ. They are means of grace through faith, tokens of our profession of Christian faith, and signs of God’s gracious ministry toward us. By them, He works within us to quicken, strengthen, and confirm our faith.

    ¶124 Baptism

             Water baptism is a sacrament of the church, commanded by our Lord, signifying acceptance of the benefits of the atonement of Jesus Christ to be administered to believers, as declaration of their faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour.

             Baptism is a symbol of the new covenant of grace as circumcision was the symbol of the old covenant; and, since infants are recognized as being included in the atonement, they may be baptized upon the request of parents or guardians who shall give assurance for them of necessary Christian training. They shall be required to affirm the vow for themselves before being accepted into church membership.

     

    ¶125 The Lord’s Supper

             The Lord’s Supper is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ’s death. To those who rightly, worthily, and with faith receive it, the bread which we break is a partaking of the body of Christ; and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ. The supper is also a sign of the love and unity that Christians have among themselves.                 

             Christ, according to His promise, is really present in the sacrament. But His body is given, taken, and eaten only after a heavenly and spiritual manner. No change is effected in the element; the bread and wine are not literally the body and blood of Christ. Nor is the body and blood of Christ literally present with the elements. The elements are never to be considered objects of worship. The body of Christ is received and eaten in faith.

     

    LAST THINGS

    ¶126 THE KINGDOM OF GOD

             The kingdom of God is a prominent Bible theme providing Christians with both their tasks and hope. Jesus announced its presence. The kingdom is realized now as God’s reign is

              established in the hearts and lives of believers.

             The church by its prayers, example, and proclamation of the Gospel, is the appointed and appropriate instrument of God in building His kingdom. But the kingdom is also future and is related to the return of Christ when judgment will fall upon the present order. The enemies of Christ will be subdued; the reign of God will be established; a total cosmic renewal which is both material and moral shall occur; and the hope of the redeemed will be fully realized.

    ¶127 THE RETURN OF CHRIST

             The return of Christ is certain and may occur at any moment although it is not given us to know the hour. At His return He will fulfill all prophecies concerning His final triumph over all evil. The believer’s response is joyous expectation, watchfulness, readiness, and diligence.

    ¶128 RESURRECTION

             There will be a bodily resurrection from the dead of both the just and the unjust, they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation. The resurrected body will be a spiritual body, but the person will be whole and identifiable. The resurrection of Christ is the guarantee of resurrection unto life to those who are in Him.

    ¶129 JUDGMENT

             God has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness in accordance with the Gospel and our deeds in this life.

     

    ¶130          FINAL DESTINY

             Our eternal destiny is determined by God’s grace and our response, not by arbitrary decrees of God. For those who trust Him and obediently follow Jesus as Saviour and Lord, there is a heaven of eternal glory and the blessedness of Christ’s presence. But for the finally impenitent there is a hell of eternal suffering and of separation from God. 

    ¶131 SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES

    The doctrines of The Free Methodist Church are based upon the Holy Scriptures and are derived from their total biblical context. The references below are appropriate passages related to the given articles. They are listed in their biblical sequence and are not intended to be exhaustive. 

    1.      GOD

    1.1.   Holy Trinity

    Genesis 1:1‑2; Exodus 3:13‑15; Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; John 1:1‑3; 5:19‑23; 8:58; 14:9‑11; 15:26; 16:13‑15; II Corinthians 13:14.

     

    1.2.   Son

    1.2.1.      His Incarnation - Matthew 1:21; 20:28; 26:27‑28; Luke 1:35; 19:10; John 1:1,10,14; II Corinthians 5:18‑19; Philippians 2:5‑8; Hebrews 2:17; 9:14‑15.

    1.2.2.   His Resurrection and Exaltation - Matthew 25:31‑32; Luke 24:1‑7; 24:39; John 20:19; Acts 1:9‑11; 2:24; Romans 8:33‑34; II Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 2:9‑11; Hebrews 1:1‑4.

    1.3.   Holy Spirit

     

    1.3.1.   His Person - Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; 14:16‑17, 26; 15:26; 16:13‑15.


    1.3.2.      His Work in Salvation - John 16:7‑8; Acts 15:8‑9; Romans 8:9,14‑16;
    I Corinthians 3:16; II Corinthians 3:17‑18; Galatians 4:6.

     

    1.3.3.      His Relation to the Church - Acts 5:3‑4; Romans 8:14; I Corinthians 12:4‑7;

                II Peter 1:21.

     

    2.      THE SCRIPTURES

    2.1.  Authority - Deuteronomy 4:2; 28:9; Psalm 19:7‑11; John 14:26; 17:17; Romans 15:4; II Timothy 3:14‑17; Hebrews 4:12; James 1:21.

    2.2.   Authority of the Old Testament - Matthew 5:17‑18; Luke 10:25‑28; John 5:39,46‑47; Acts 10:43; Galatians 5:3‑4; I Peter 1:10‑12.

    2.3.   Authority of the New Testament - Matthew 24:35; Mark 8:38; John 14:24; Hebrews 2:1‑4; II Peter 1:16‑21; I John 2:2‑6; Revelation 21:5; 22:19.

    3.      HUMANKIND

    3.1.   A Free Moral Person - Genesis 1:27; Psalm 51:5; 130:3; Romans 5:17‑19; Ephesians 2:8‑10. 

    3.2.  Law of Life and Love - Matthew 22:35‑40; John 15:17; Galatians 3:28; I John 4:19‑21.

    3.3.  Good Works - Matthew 5:16; 7:16‑20; Romans 3:27,28; Ephesians 2:10; II Timothy 1:8‑9; Titus 3:5.

    4.      SALVATION

    4.1.   Christ’s Sacrifice - Luke 24:46‑48; John 3:16; Acts 4:12; Romans 5:8‑11; Galatians 2:16; 3:2‑3; Ephesians 1:7‑8; 2:13; Hebrews 9:11‑14,25‑26; 10:8‑14.

    4.2.  The New Life in Christ - John 1:12‑13; 3:3‑8; Acts 13:38‑39; Romans 8:15‑17; Ephesians 2:8‑9; Colossians 3:9‑10.

    4.2.1.      Justification - Psalm 32:1‑2; Acts 10:43; Romans 3:21‑26,28; 4:2‑25; 5:8‑9;
    I Corinthians 6:11; Philippians 3:9.

    4.2.2.      Regeneration - Ezekiel 36:26‑27; John 5:24; Romans 6:4; II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:22‑24; Colossians 3:9‑10; Titus 3:4‑5; I Peter 1:23.

    4.2.3.      Adoption - Romans 8:15‑17; Galatians 4:4‑7; Ephesians 1:5‑6; I John 3:1‑3. 

    4.3.  Sanctification - Leviticus 20:7‑8; John 14:16‑17; 17:19; Acts 1:8; 2:4; 15:8‑9; Romans 5:3‑5; 8:12‑17; 12:1‑2; I Corinthians 6:11; 12:4‑11; Galatians 5:22‑25; Ephesians 4:22‑24; I Thessalonians 4:7; 5:23‑24; II Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 10:14. 

    4.4.  Restoration - Matthew 12:31‑32; 18:21‑22; Romans 6:1‑2; Galatians 6:1; I John 1:9; 2:1‑2; 5:16‑17; Revelation 2:5; 3:19‑20.

     

    5.      THE CHURCH

    5.1.   The Church - Matthew 16:15‑18; 18:17; Acts 2:41‑47; 9:31; 12:5; 14:23‑26; 15:22; 20:28; I Corinthians 1:2; 11:23; 12:28; 16:1; Ephesians 1:22‑23; 2:19‑22; 3:9‑10; 5:22‑23; Colossians 1:18; I Timothy 3:14‑15.

    5.2.  The Language of Worship - Nehemiah 8:5,6,8; Matthew 6:7; I Corinthians 14:6‑9;
    I Corinthians 14:23‑25.

    5.3.  The Holy Sacraments - Matthew 26:26‑29; 28:19; Acts 22:16; Romans 4:11;
    I Corinthians 10:16‑17; 11:23‑26; Galatians 3:27.

    5.3.1.      Baptism - Acts 2:38,41; 8:12‑17; 9:18; 16:33; 18:8; 19:5; John 3:5;
    I Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27‑29; Colossians 2:11‑12; Titus 3:5.
     

    5.3.2.   The Lord’s Supper - Mark 14:22‑24; John 6:53‑58; Acts 2:46;
    I Corinthians 5:7‑8; 10:16; 11:20,23‑29.

    6.      LAST THINGS

    6.1.   The Kingdom of God - Matthew 6:10; 19:20; 24:14; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:19‑23;
    I Corinthians 15:20‑25; Philippians 2:9‑10; I Thessalonians 4:15‑17; II Thessalonians 1:5‑12; II Peter 3:3‑10; Revelation 14:6; 21:3‑8; 22:1‑5,17.

    6.2.  The Return of Christ - Matthew 24:1‑51; 26:64; Mark 13:26‑27; Luke 17:26‑37; John 14:1‑3; Acts 1:9‑11; I Thessalonians 4:13‑18; Titus 2:11‑14; Hebrews 9:27‑28; Revelation 1:7; 19:11‑16; 22:6‑7,12,20.

    6.3.  Resurrection - John 5:28‑29; I Corinthians 15:20,51‑57; II Corinthians 4:13‑14.

    6.4.  Judgment - Matthew 25:31‑46; Luke 11:31‑32; Acts 10:42; 17:31; Romans 2:5‑16; 14:10‑11; II Corinthians 5:6‑10; Hebrews 9:27‑28; 10:26‑31; II Peter 3:7.

    6.5.  Destiny - Mark 9:42‑48; John 14:3; Hebrews 2:1‑3; Revelation 20:11‑15; 21:22‑27.

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  • Policies of The Free Methodist World Conference

     

    INDEX

    Books of Discipline........................................................ 2 

    Accuracy, Compliance, Filing............................... 2

    Outside review of Book of Discipline changes..........2

     

    Crisis Need Assessment and Response Protocol.............3

    Complaints  .................................................................. 3

    • Process and Criteria for Accepting Requests or Complaints Submitted to the World Conference Executive Committee

    Nominating Committee Procedures.......................... 4

    Provisional General Conferences...............................5

    ·        WCEC Representation at Inauguration of a Provisional General Conference..... 5

    ·         Referenda Voting for Provisional General Conferences................... 5

    Scholarships................................................ 5

    • International Scholarship Program of the Free Methodist World Conference..... 5

    Books of Discipline

    Accuracy, Compliance, Filing

    Paragraph 230.3 of the Common Constitution mandates that the World Conference be responsible to ensure that the Common Constitution of the Free Methodist Church (Chapters 1 and 2 of the Book of Discipline) is kept consistent in meaning regardless of language.

    To assure accuracy and compliance among all Free Methodist Books of Discipline the World Conference Executive Committee will identify people knowledgeable in both the appropriate language and Free Methodist Church theology and polity to review new versions of general conferences’ Books of Discipline. They will be asked to attest that in the Book of Discipline under review, the sections for the Common Constitution fairly represent the principles of the Free Methodist Church. The Executive Committee will keep a record of these actions.               

    Copies of Books of Discipline for Free Methodist General Conferences will be kept at the Marston Memorial Historical Center, Free Methodist World Ministry Center, 770 North High School Road, PO Box 535002, Indianapolis, Indiana USA 46253-5002.  (Approved - WCEC - Oostende, Belgium, September 24, 25, 2005)

    Outside review of Book of Discipline changes

    To ensure that the Common Constitution sections (chapters one and two) fairly represent the principles of the Free Methodist Church, the sponsoring general conferences shall attest for the accuracy of the contents of the first edition of a new general conference’s Book of Discipline.  

    Subsequent editions of Books of Discipline shall be reviewed by the Area Fellowship.  The World Conference Executive Committee who will keep a record of reviews including the reviewer(s) and the date of review. (Approved - WCEC – Butuan City, The Philippines, October 6, 7, 2009)

     

    Crisis Need Assessment and Response Protocol

     

    A communication and response procedure is to be followed through the Council of Bishops so that crisis needs can be quickly communicated around the world.  Whenever there is a critical need (spiritual, financial, human resource) requiring a partnership response from other General Conferences, this need will be communicated to all bishops with a request for a response.

    It is agreed that all will respond so that every General Conference helps with prayer, financial aid and/or personnel assistance, as each is able.  From their involvement with each other in the Council of Bishops, the bishops will know each other and understand the strength of their partnership relationship.

    For this to work well, everyone understands that a “crisis need” is defined as one that goes beyond the control of a General Conference’s ability to cope. Subsidization of normal operations does not qualify for this kind of action. Every general conference is encouraged to develop a crisis resolution system to meet unexpected crises within their general conference, and beyond to other general conferences. 

    The decision to communicate a crisis need and the dissemination of information about the crisis need shall be made by the president of the Council of Bishops in consultation with the Executive of the Council of Bishops. (Approved - WCEC - Oostende, Belgium, September 24, 25, 2005)

     

    COMPLAINTS

     

    The Process and Criteria for Accepting Requests or Complaints Submitted to the World Conference Executive Committee

     

    1. Process for Receiving Requests or Complaints

     

    a.       Complaints and other requests for consideration by the World Conference Executive Committee that come from individuals or organizations other than General Conferences shall be directed to the Secretary-Treasurer for the record.

    b.      The Secretary-Treasurer will, by letter, acknowledge receipt of the complaint or request and ask that items a, b, and c of the assessment criteria (Section 2, below) be answered. The Secretary-Treasurer will indicate that, when these are answered satisfactorily, the Executive Committee will evaluate the request or complaint at an appropriate meeting and determine, at its discretion, if it should be considered.

    c.       A copy of the acknowledgment and the incoming letter will be sent to the President of the World Conference. Copies of any other correspondence the Secretary-Treasurer receives relating to the request or complaint also will be forwarded to the President.

    d.      After consideration by the World Conference Executive Committee, the Secretary- Treasurer will, through the bishop, inform the Board of Administration of the General Conference in question (see ¶230.7.1 in the Constitution) and respond with a brief summary of the action taken to the person(s) who has made a request or complaint.

     

    2.      Criteria for Assessing Requests or Complaints Submitted

     

    a.       Has the correspondent pursued the issue through all appropriate channels within his own General Conference?

    b.      Is the leadership of the General Conference in question aware that the request or complaint is being submitted to the World Conference Executive Committee?

    c.       What is the response of the leadership of the General Conference regarding the request or complaint being made?

    d.      If this is a constitutional issue, what sections of the Constitution speak to the request or complaint being raised?

    e.       Have previous World Conference bodies (World Conference Executive Committees, World Conference itself) or their predecessors (World Fellowship, Constitutional Council) studied and ruled on the request or complaint previously? If so, has the situation changed sufficiently and/or has new information become available since the most recent review to warrant reopening this question?

    (Approved - WCEC - Oostende, Belgium, September 24, 25, 2005)

     

    NOMINATING COMMITTEE PROCEDURES

     

    1. The delegates of the General Conferences of each Area Fellowship will meet in a caucus convened by the Area Fellowship President to elect a representative and a reserve representative to the Nominating Committee from its Area Fellowship. 
    2. In advance of the meeting of the World Conference, the World Conference Executive Committee will draft a slate of nominees for the Executive Committees of the World Conference and the Council of Bishops to submit it to the Nominating Committee. 
    3. A Nominating Committee Facilitator appointed by the Executive Committee will convene and facilitate the work of the Nominating Committee.  The Facilitator may not be nominated for any position.
    4. The Nominating Committee will review the draft slate of nominees and after discussion may adjust the slate of officers.
    5. If the Nominating Committee wishes to nominate a member of the Nominating Committee for election as an officer of the World Conference Executive Committee or of the Council of Bishops, that member must resign immediately and be replaced by the reserve representative from the member’s Area Fellowship.
    6. If the Nominating Committee wishes to nominate individuals who are not present, it must ensure that they agree to serve before presenting them as nominees.

    (Approved - WCEC – Butuan City, The Philippines, October 6, 7, 2009)

     

     

    PROVISIONAL GENERAL CONFERENCES

     

    WCEC Representation at the Inauguration of a Provisional General Conference

     

    When possible, a member of the World Conference Executive will be sent to the inauguration of a Provisional General Conference to represent the Free Methodist World Conference and to warmly welcome the new Provisional General Conference into the international fellowship of the Free Methodist World Conference. (Approved - WCEC - Oostende, Belgium, September 24, 25, 2005)

    Clarification of Referenda Voting for Provisional General Conferences

    The Common Constitution calls for a Provisional General Conference to be directly accountable to its sponsoring General Conference and indirectly related to the World Conference through its sponsoring General Conference.

     

    Since the vote count of delegates from any General Conference may include delegates from sponsored annual and provisional general conferences, the total membership of a General Conference will include the members of the annual conferences, provisional general conferences and mission districts it sponsors.  This combined membership will be included in the weighting of the sponsoring General Conference delegate votes per Par. 230.2.1 of the Common Constitution. 

    (Approved - WCEC - Oostende, Belgium, September 24, 25, 2005)

     

    SCHOLARSHIPS

     

    The International Scholarship Program of the Free Methodist World Conference

     

    Purpose and Scope

    The International Scholarship Program’s purpose is to assist the development of well-trained church leaders for the Free Methodist Church in the developing nations and mission areas of the world. It is administered by the World Conference Executive Committee. The program provides financial assistance to promising ministerial leaders for graduate-level education in Bible, theology, Christian education and leadership. In special circumstances, with the approval of the Executive Committee, awards may be made for undergraduate training in these areas. 

     

    Role of the Area Fellowship

    The Area Fellowships of Asia, Europe, East/Central Africa, North and South Latin America, Southern Africa, and West Africa identify and recommend individuals for financial assistance. The North America Area Fellowship is not eligible for the International Scholarship Program.

    Each Area Fellowship shall have a Scholarship Committee, composed of the Area Fellowship executive committee, Area Bishop(s), and the Area Director. This committee will identify potential recipients of support, collect and review applications and select the individual(s) from their area to receive financial assistance.

    The Area Fellowship Scholarship Committee shall provide to the Secretary–Treasurer of the World Conference Executive Committee the name of the recipient, the name and location of the school to which the recipient will be attending and a brief description of the study plans the student has chosen. This information is often useful when making application for grants from foundations and other donors.

    Awards

    The International Scholarship budget will be based on a total amount set each year by the World Conference Executive Committee. In general it will come from income received the previous calendar year but every attempt will be made to keep annual amounts level or increasing to assist in supporting students in multi-year programs.

    The numbers of ministerial candidates and ordained ministers in the General Conferences of some Area Fellowships are much larger than others. Therefore, the total amount determined by the World Conference Executive Committee will be allocated among the Area Fellowships, excluding the North America Area Fellowship, according to the following plan:

    a.       The total amount to be distributed will be divided by 9 equal shares.

    b.      Shares will be distributed to the Area Fellowships as follows:  Asia (2), East/Central Africa (2), Europe (1), Latin America (2), Southern Africa (1), West Africa (1).

    Awards are made on an annual basis only. It is expected that multi-year awards may be needed for extended periods of study but no promise can be made that funds will be available for any subsequent year. Multi-year awards must be confirmed each year by recommendations by the sponsoring Area Fellowship.

    Area Fellowships may use all or part of their annual allotment in any year and may distribute it to one or more recipients as they choose. If more than one person is to receive funds, the Area Fellowship must identify the amounts to be awarded to each person. If an Area Fellowship does not use all its allotment in one year the World Conference Secretary-Treasurer shall keep the balance in reserve for up to the third year. After that period, unused allotments will be returned to the overall scholarship fund for distribution among all Area Fellowships in later years.

     

    Recipients

    Recipients of the scholarships are expected to receive their education within their own country or region. The World Conference Executive Committee must approve deviations from this.

     

    Recipients are expected to report their progress annually to the Secretary–Treasurer of the World Conference Executive Committee. This should include a summary of the course of study followed, progress toward study-plan goals and any plans for succeeding work.

    Individuals receiving assistance through the International Scholarship Program must be members of the Free Methodist Church. As a condition of the award of a scholarship or other assistance, the candidate must commit himself or herself to serve in a position proposed by the conference of the student’s origin and approved by the Area Fellowship Scholarship Committee for a period of time equal to the period for which financial assistance was received. Acceptance of financial aid from the program constitutes an agreement to repay the amount of the scholarship or other assistance to the Free Methodist World Conference if this service agreement is not fulfilled.

    Funds

    Funds may be awarded at any time in a calendar year. The World Conference Executive Committee will determine the amount to be allotted to each Area Fellowship by March 1 of any year. Funds will be available to recipients within thirty days of the allotments being announced.

     

    Funds will not be released until the Secretary-Treasurer of the Executive Committee receives a paper or electronic directive from the chairperson of the Area Fellowship Scholarship Committee. Preferably this will include a copy of the minutes of an Area Fellowship Scholarship Committee recommending grants for specific students.

    If at all possible, funds should be dispersed directly to the school attended by the scholarship recipient. When this is not practical, the scholarship grant will be sent to the sponsoring general conference to administer funds. As a last resort, funds may be sent directly to the student but the sponsoring general conference is expected to be accountable for the use of the funds.  (Approved - WCEC - Oostende, Belgium, September 24, 25, 2005)

     


    Learn More

FROM THE PRESIDENT

Dear Friend,

 

Welcome to the official website of Free Methodist World Conference! FMWC, as you may be aware, is the apex body of Free Methodist Churches around the world. The worldwide Free Methodist family includes over 1.5 million members in 88 countries.

 

FREE METHODIST WORLD CONFERENCE

IN PORT SHEPSTONE, SOUTH AFRICA

Free Methodist World Conference was held in Port Shepstone, South Africa from October 22-24, 2015.  All General Conferences from across the globe participated except Haiti, India and Rwanda as the delegates could not receive their visas. 

There were many important motions passed in the World Conference including the launch of Decade of Harvest. 

 

A full report of the World Conference is posted under “CURRENT EVENTS” on this website. I am grateful to Mrs. Beryl Kumalo, the honorable member of World Conference Executive Committee, for writing this wonderful report.

 

PURPOSE & MISSION OF FREE METHODISM

 

Free Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination within the holiness movement. It is evangelical in nature and has its roots in the Armenian-Wesleyan tradition.


Free Methodist Church was founded in 1860 right before the Civil War in North America. Millions of blacks were bound as slaves. The newly born church took a stand against slavery. The founding members claimed, “Slavery was sin. Therefore all slaves should be free. There should be no discrimination against blacks or the poor or the new immigrants then flooding the country.”


At a time when many churches raised funds by auctioning the best seats to the highest bidders and discriminated against the poor and black people by restricting them to the poorest seating in their sanctuaries, Free Methodists insisted on “free pews” for everyone.

 
Another important reason why we are called Free is because Jesus gives us the freedom — freedom from sin and guilt, the freedom of the Spirit, freedom to live freely for Jesus in every area.   

Free Methodists exist to maintain the Bible standard of Christianity, and to preach the Gospel to the poor.  We seek to continue the mission of first-century Church which was recovered by John Wesley and the early Methodists who declared they existed “to raise up a holy people.”


B. T. Roberts, Founder of Free Methodist Church, has beautifully laid out the mission of the church – “The church should do what Jesus did: Take the gospel to people who are hurting and oppressed; people with no hope. The gospel is for all, but like Jesus we focus our resources and compassion especially on the poor and the oppressed.


Whenever there is slackness in our missions, or slothfulness in the spirit, we have strong roots to go back to and renew our commitment to the Lord and His mission.


If there is anything you would like to know about Free Methodist Church or the World Conference, please write to the WCEC Secretary Mr. Byan Blankenship at bryanpblankenship@gmail.com


May the Lord of Glory go before you and cause His face to shine on you. 

 


Bishop Joab Lohara
President.

 

 

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