Global Wesleyan Alliance Formed

FROM THE BOARD OF BISHOPS

After more than two years of dialogue, prayer and planning leaders of 11 Wesleyan holiness denominations formally launched the Global Wesleyan Alliance on Dec. 3, 2011 in Anderson, Ind.  The Alliance is the culmination of conversations by Wesleyan holiness denominations to better coordinate their cumulative and cooperative efforts to advance the gospel message and activity in keeping with their historically shared holiness theology and praxis.

The 11 denominations include the Free Methodist Church USA, Church of the Nazarene, The Wesleyan Church, Church of God (Anderson), The Evangelical Church, Evangelical Methodist Church, Churches of Christ in Christian Union, The Missionary Church, Congregational Methodist Church, Church of Christ Holiness USA, and Pilgrim Holiness Church.  The bishops, general superintendents and/or general directors of each denomination were represented and unanimously approved the formation of the GWA.  Though there had been some preliminary conversation of denominational merger among some of the GWA members, it was concluded that an alliance would better serve the aims of each group and eliminate the cumbersome cost, complexity and administrative hardship required by merger.

The intent of the GWA is to deepen connection between like-minded denominations through the following:

  • Cooperative ministry ventures.
  • Sharing pastors and making transfer and appointment of clergy across denominational lines more easily attainable.
  • Sharing and promoting materials and events aimed at advancing shared Kingdom concerns.
  • Increasing community among leaders at all levels.
  • Collaborating together in compassion and justice ministries.
  • Leveraging voice and contributions on matters commonly important to all groups.
  • Convening events to promote the holiness message and experience, discipleship, church health, compassion and justice ministries, leadership development and networking.

The first action of the Global Wesleyan Alliance is a call to prayer for all associated denominations for spiritual awakening, revival and commitment to personal and social holiness.  The GWA board of directors includes:  Dr. Jerry Pence, President (General Superintendent- The Wesleyan Church); Dr. Tom Hermiz, Vice President (General Superintendent- Churches of Christ in Christian Union); Dr. David Graves, Secretary (General Superintendent- Church of the Nazarene); Dr. Ronald Duncan, Treasurer (General Director- Church of God, Anderson); and Dr. David Kendall (Bishop- Free Methodist Church USA).

The GWA denominational representatives will meet on at least an annual basis to continue to develop and implement strategies for the advancement of the kingdom of God and the synergistic support of the efforts of the alliance member denominations.

7 Responses to Global Wesleyan Alliance Formed

  1. Larry Winckles December 28, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    This is great news! The Wesleyan Alliance of Hungary has existed for over eleven years and has been a great blessing as we’ve worked together on common projects. It would be great if the global alliance would also include organizations like OMS and WGM as well.

  2. Joshua Canada December 28, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    This is wonderful. I applaud the leadership for taking this very humble and encouraging step – especially engaging with COCHUSA. I hope that this can be away for our local congregations within these denominations to more closely cooperate and fellowship.

    As Free Methodism is what Howard Synder calls the “Network Phase” how will these connections impact the continued growth and broad diversity of Free Methodism? For example, how will these connections impact Free Methodism’s intentional support and ordination of Women and embrace maturity in Howard’s “Free Methodist Synthesis?” For me, this is vital in the present relation and what might occur. Although I know merger was initially taken off the table, I believe some of the great efforts may lead at least some of the groups from collaboration to amalgamation and I hope we are realistic about the potential impacts.

    Also, has there been any conversation with the African Methodist Episcopal, Christian Methodist Episcopal or African Methodist Zion Episcopal denominations? If we truly want to be multi-ethnic, relationships with these denominations would be an important and meaningful step. I would gracefully implore and challenge our leadership to seek out these connections especially because of the impact on the racial/ethnic legacy the division represents in American Christianity and the Methodist tradition.

    Again, this work is very encouraging, I look forward to see the Lord work through our faithfulness of seeking unity in Christ. I am thankful to be Free Methodist.

  3. Rebecca Gorbena December 28, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    Yay! Absolutely!

    I believe so many more individuals could be reached if we combined efforts.

    This is fantastic news.

  4. Jaymes Lackey December 30, 2011 at 2:48 am #

    I am very optimistic about this alliance. I think there are some definite positives: (1) a network for ministers to connect and be in unity with each other on a local level (2) a promotion of Wesleyan Holiness with a focus on social justice and compassion issues (3) being united in Christ.

    I am interested in the potential negative consequences, in some of the same areas that Joshua raises above and others, like: (1) over-identifying one side of FM, (2) Ordination of Women, (3) if we have gone far enough.

    I explore these more in-depth here: http://deartheoph.blogspot.com/2011/12/global-wesleyan-alliance-and-free.html

    Looking forward to a bright future! May the Lord be blessed!

  5. Christy Mesaros-Winckles December 30, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    Jaymes and Joshua raise some good points. I am also curious if there has been any thought of how to encourage the FM Church and this new alliance to be multi-ethnic. From my own historic reserach, many of the early African-American Free Methodists were first members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. I too hope this alliance is a positive step and doesn’t emphasize one aspect of Free Methodism over another but continues our quest as a denomination to return the passionate pursuit of equal access to the gospel and Roberts quest for equal access to ordination.

    I’m know the Weslyean Alliance in Hungary has been an amazing blessing, and I hope this alliance has a similar effect.

  6. Kevin Austin December 31, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    Great news. I look forward to collaborating with one and all in our pursuit of holistic freedom. Let’s create new futures together!

  7. Steven Bell January 7, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    I believe that this could be of great benefit across denominational lines and yet hold to Wesleyan theological tradition. I only have one question. If this has been in the works, why was it not mentioned at GC11 in such a way as to solicit support and response from the governing body?