Most Methodists know the stories of John and Charles Wesley, founders of the Methodist movement. Many American Methodists also know about Francis Asbury and the circuit riders who spread Methodism across the United States. How many Methodists, though, know about the exploits of William Taylor, missionary bishop responsible for founding Methodism in the Democratic Republic of Congo and spreading Methodism elsewhere around the world?
Most Methodists are familiar with the split and eventual reunification between the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and the Methodist Protestant Church in the United States. Yet how many Methodists are familiar with the multiple beginnings of Methodism in France or in Congo, the latter due in part to the split between the MEC and the MECS?
Here’s a chance to brush up on some of your Methodist history outside the United States. Christie R. House, editor of the New World Outlook magazine published by the General Board of Global Ministries, has published a nice article on the history of Methodism in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Society for the Study of French Methodism (Société d’Étude du Méthodisme Français) recently posted notes related to their most recent conference to student the history of French Methodism. Both are worth a look as part of expanding our concepts of the history of Methodism beyond its usual British and American roots.