We are a connectional denomination, meaning that we have common ideals, beliefs, and backgrounds. Bishops oversee the denomination
throughout the United States. The World Ministries Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, houses the nerve center of the denomination. From here, Administrators and staff provide churches with the resources and communications necessary to carry out their local ministries.
With all of the coordination, local churches are still free to establish their own mission and methods. Pastors are appointed by the denomination, but in cooperation with the local congregations.
The denomination publishes the award-winning, bi-monthly magazine, Light and Life.
As you might assume from its name, the Free Methodist Church is rooted in the work of John Wesley’s Methodist movement of the 18th century.
Methodism crossed the ocean and spread throughout America. In the mid 1850’s Benjamin Titus Roberts and others became concerned about shifts in beliefs and practices in the Methodist Episcopal Church (later, the United Methodist Church) in New York. Roberts and others who voiced these concerned were eventually expelled from the church. In 1860, a group of pastors and layperson formed the Free Methodist Church at Pekin, New York.
Roberts, and these others chose to put “Free” in the name to emphasize three points of freedom that they strongly believed in:
abolition of slavery
elimination of church pew rental fees
expression of joy and spontaneity in worship
Other issues included support for the classic Methodist doctrines concerning holy living, caring for the poor, and and emphasis on Christian growth through small groups.
Today, the Free Methodist Church of North America has over 75,000 members, and over 900 churches throughout the United States. Missionary efforts over the decades since its founding have established affiliated organizations in Canada and throughout the world. In fact, by far, most Free Methodists live outside the United States, and the church worldwide has grown 350% in 25 years.
For more information about the Free Methodist Church of North America, visit its website at http://www.freemethodistchurch.org/.
FMCOC is also part of the ministry of Pleasantville Camp. For over 100 years Pleasantville Camp has been a place where people have renewed their hearts and discovered God’s purposes at work in their lives. Covering more than 20 acres in scenic Pleasantville, PA (Venango County), the campground is situated in some of the most beautiful rural scenery in the country.
Pleasantville Camp offers individuals and groups the opportunity to “come away refreshed.” The largest event at the camp each year is the annual Family Camp.