Wesleyan Methodist Church
Wesleyan Methodist Church
The Wesleyan Methodist Church, currently known as “The Methodist Church of Great Britain,” is a mainline Protestant denomination and “mother church” to Methodists worldwide. Methodism originated through the work of John Wesley and his brother Charles in the 1700’s. Following John Wesley’s death in 1793, the revival movement separated from the Church of England to become a separate church. The word “Wesleyan” was added to its name to differentiate it from the Welsh Calvinistic Methodists and the Primitive Methodist movement, which separated from the Wesleyans in 1807.
From the beginning, the church had a strong missionary character. The first Methodist missionaries to Southern Rhodesia were Reverend Owen Watkins and Isaac Shimmin with the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society (WMMS). Accompanied by native Teaching-Evangelists, they arrived at Fort Salisbury from their base in South Africa on September 29, 1891, a year after its occupation by Cecil Rhodes’ “pioneer Column.” Rhodes granted them concessions for three farms that were used to found Epworth and Nenguwo (later Waddilove) missions. In 1895, the Methodist “Rhodesia District” was separated from the Transvaal, reporting to the British Conference.
In 1932, the Wesleyan Methodist re-united with the Primitive Methodist and the United Methodist Churches to form the Methodist Church of Great Britain. As a consequence of the union, WMMS and the foreign missions of the Primitive Methodist and the United Methodist Churches merged to form the Methodist Missionary Society (MMS).
Local autonomy was granted to the church from Great Britain in 1977, including mission properties, eventually becoming the present “Methodist Church in Zimbabwe” (MCZ). MCZ became its own conference in 1997. Today it oversees 250 full-time ministers and a Methodist community of close to 200,000 members.
- Southern Rhodesia
- 1891-92- Epworth Mission
- 1892 – Nengubo Mission
- 1892 – Kwenda Mission
- 1897 – Tegwani Mission
- 1908 – Chimanza Mission
- 1913 – Sandringham Mission
- 1914 – Marshall Hartley Mission
- 1915 – Waddilove Institution
- Chibero Mission
- Matjinge Mission
- Northern Rhodesia
- 1912 – Chipembi Mission
- The Methodist Church of Great Britain
- The Methodist Church in Zimbabwe (MCZ)
- The Wesleyan Methodist Missions in Zimbabwe, 1891-1945 – J.M. Zvobgo
- (Wesleyan) Methodist Missionary Society Archives
- Missions in Southern Rhodesia – Paul S. King; Chapt. 5, “The Methodist Church (United Kingdom) – Thorpe
- Mark Loomis