Thursday, November 12, 2015

November 14, 2015

"He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

One other significant social impact Wesleyans had in the 19th Century was in the matter of women's rights. The first convention held in the United States, for the rights of women, was held in the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel at Seneca Falls, New York. In 1848, "women's rights" was not the radical feminism of today. If there was "political correctness" back then, it would be against women's rights not for them. These issues were "basic human rights for women," including the the right to vote, and in some states, the right to hold property in their own names. It also involved the right to ministry. The first woman ordained to the Christian ministry in the United States was named Antionette Brown. Her ordination sermon was preached by a Wesleyan - Luther Lee.

Wesleyan Methodists were also the first denomination in America to give an equal vote to the laity in church conferences. It was a consistent application of a principle - the rights of slaves, the rights of women and the rights of laity.

What is a Wesleyan?

A Wesleyan is one who believes in being right with God and honoring the God-given rights of others. We always have and we always will!

November 13, 2015

"But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness........" Matthew 6:33

When young courageous, firebrand pastor, Adam Crooks was finally forced to leave North Carolina in 1851 because of his arrest and conviction on the charge of distributing a tract on the Ten Commandments (No First Amendment for Wesleyans) one of his laymen picked up the cause and the Underground Railroad continued to run through Freedom's Hill Wesleyan Methodist Church!

Wesleyans preached the very unpopular message that slavery was "man stealing" and was a direct violation of the Eighth Commandment.

Micajah McPherson was the brave layman who carried forward the anti-slavery efforts of Freedom's Hill Church. McPherson knew what it meant to count the cost of discipleship. He was caught by a lynch mob and hanged from a dogwood tree on his own property because of his commitment to Wesleyan principles of freedom (Loving people to life!). The mob returned later and cut him down because they needed the rope "to hang another Wesleyan".

What they didn't realize in their haste was - McPherson was still alive! His wife nursed him back to health and he lived to the ripe old age of 85!

Why am I sharing these stories?

I am reminding you of your heritage as a Wesleyan because so many people ask, "What is a Wesleyan?" and you need to know who we are!

I am reminding you of your heritage because you may sometimes wonder what can one little church belonging to an obscure Denomination in a small town do to make a difference? According to our history - quite a bit!

I am reminding you of your heritage because you have inherited a rich legacy that MUST be passed on to the next generation of Wesleyans at FredWes! When I cast the vision of raising up a new generation of believers who are more passionate and committed than we are this is part of what I mean!

I am reminding you of your heritage because any vision of future ministry must connect a proud and productive past to a preferable future!

I promise to be an Adam Crooks if you promise to be a Micajah McPherson.