Glossary of Terms: Term definition

Christmas Conference

The name given to the conference at which the Methodist Episcopal Church in America was formally organized. The conference began on December 24, 1784, and lasted until January 2 or 3, 1785, at the Lovely Lane Chapel in Baltimore, Maryland. Because of meeting through the Christmas period, the conference has traditionally been called the Christmas Conference. It was at this conference that John Wesley's instructions for the new church were received and approved. Thomas Coke was received as general superintendent. Francis Asbury, designated as a general superintendent by Wesley, was elected to the office by the ministers present and consecrated. Ministers were ordained, and ministerial appointments to churches and circuits were made. The initial policies for the new church were chosen. The founding date of 1784 for The United Methodist Church comes from this meeting of the Christmas Conference.

Source: A Dictionary for United Methodists, Alan K. Waltz, Copyright 1991, Abingdon Press. Used by permission.

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