Nashville, Tennessee – Congregations across the connection are invited to celebrate the 50th anniversary commemorating the event on April 23, 1968, when leaders of the Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church declared the creation of a new denomination, The United Methodist Church.
With the words “Lord of the Church, we are united in Thee, in Thy Church and now in The United Methodist Church,” the new denomination was birthed at the constituting General Conference being held that year in Dallas. The words, said in unison over joined hands, by Bishop Reuben H. Mueller of the Evangelical United Brethren Church and Bishop Lloyd C. Wicke of The Methodist Church, signified the formation of one of the largest denominations in the world, representing 53 countries.
“We are celebrating 50 years since a historic coming together among like-minded Christians of different regions, languages, cultures, and customs because of their common grounding in Wesleyan spirituality and practice,” said the Rev. Fred Day, general secretary of the General Commission of Archives and History. “The historical event also marks the formation of a church free from the institutionalized segregation of the former Central Jurisdiction. Now white and African-American United Methodists lived into a Church sharing annual conferences, same bishops, and same appointment systems as never before.