A UMC.org feature by Andrew J. Schleicher*
September 21, 2015

Holy Club. Bible Moths. Methodists.

These are just a few of the names people called Charles and John Wesley and those gathered around them before anyone called their group a movement, let alone a church. Charles and John Wesley are considered founders of the Methodist movement that led to what is now The United Methodist Church.

It all began around 1728 with a few men at Oxford University, where Charles was finishing his studies.Charles Wesley had not always been very good at focusing on his studies or his faith. His first year at school was full of diversions like playing cards and enjoying music, theater and dancing. Nevertheless, by his final year, he was ready to devote himself to a more focused method of engaging study and faith.

Charles knew he could not do this on his own. He gathered with others in a small group, a practice common at Oxford in those days.

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