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This week in Christian history: Wesleyan Church founded, English king converts

Wesleyan Church founded – May 31, 1843

Orange Scott
Orange Scott (1800-1947), one of the founders of the Wesleyan Methodist Connexion. |

This week marks the anniversary of when the Wesleyan Church, also called the Wesleyan Methodist Connexion, was founded, splitting off from the Methodist Episcopal Church.

The Wesleyan Connexion traces its roots to the actions of abolitionists in the Methodist Church, among them Orange Scott, opting to form their own Methodist denomination that would focus more on social issues like ending slavery.

The Connexion’s inaugural meeting was held in Utica, New York, with the new denomination also seeking to remove bishops as leaders and stressing the importance of itinerant preaching.

“We take this step after years of consideration and with a solemn sense of our responsibility to God,” wrote Scott months before the Utica gathering.

“Is there any prospect that this church will ever be reformed, so long as slavery exists in the country? … We step into the breach.”

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