Methodism started as a revival movement in the mid-1700s. John Wesley started it working with poor and neglected children and incarcerated men. God used him to rescue Christianity from a dry ritualistic tradition to a purposeful, lively faith.
The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church traces its history back to this movement. After the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, courageous men and women who had been born in slavery and oppression rose up in God to take authority over their own lives. By 1870 they started the CME Church.
The CME Church mission is salvation, education and liberation. Within the first 50 years up from slavery, God bless this connection of churches with thousands of souls won to Christ, hundreds of churches formed, dozens of schools for children and youth, five colleges and one theological seminary. Now with more than 2,400 churches across the United States and seventeen nations in African and the Caribbean, we still have four affiliate colleges and a graduate seminary that we support annually through “Conference Claims.”
The CME Church has also been central in humanitarian work and in the work for civil rights and human rights around the world. Through our ecumenical and community development partnerships we address major issues such as hunger, women’s rights, adoption, and many different justice issues.
The CME Church continues to strive to be the Essential Church for 21st Century Ministry.