Unsnarling U.S. and church racial history

July 02, 2020 | by

Unsnarling U.S. and church racial history

By Heather Hahn
July 1, 2020 | UM News

Methodism’s founder wanted to minister with Native Americans and abolish slavery.

But decades after John Wesley’s death, a Methodist bishop was a slaveholder and a Methodist clergyman was responsible for one of the worst massacres of Native Americans in U.S. history.

So what went wrong?

United Methodist historians and other leaders led a livestreamed denominational town hall July 1 to explore their church’s complicated and sometimes suppressed record on race.

Their aim: To help United Methodists turn away from past transgressions and join the denomination’s renewed push against the sin of racism.

“A historical perspective gives us a glimpse into how the church chose to respond at critical inflection points in our history,” Erin Hawkins, the town hall’s moderator, told UM News ahead of the gathering.


Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.