We are a community of unremarkable people who come from a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and settings. We are united, however, in this: we love Jesus, we love people, we’re passionate about the Word of God and seeing lives transformed.
We are not perfect. We are learning together to walk in love and freedom and joyful obedience to Christ. We’re about figuring out what it means to be disciples of Christ. We want to know God. At the same time, we are called to bless New Berlin and beyond with the love, grace and truth that is found only in Jesus. We invite to live life with us.
But whoever loves God is known by God
1 Corinthians 8:3 (NIV)
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.
Isaiah 1:17 (NIV)
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Matthew 28:19 (NIV)
Free Methodists trace our roots to an18th-century English spiritual revival led by John Wesley. The poor people who came to Christ and became a part of the church were labeled “Methodists” for the methods Wesley used to help them grow in Christlikeness — daily prayer, meeting in small accountability groups, studying the Bible, seeking to be holy, and serving the poor. Whereas 18th-century France had a bloody revolution, England had a spiritual revival that resulted in reform of prisons, child labor and crime laws, and more. The Methodists also became effective in fanning the flame of vibrant Christian faith on America’s rugged frontier.
The “Free” Methodist Church emerged out of a burning desire among some 19th-century Methodists to stay true to the principles of the Wesleyan revival. Led by Benjamin Titus Roberts (photo right), these Methodists believed in a strong emphasis on the Biblical call to live a holy life and to serve the poor. At at time in which church buildings were being supported by wealthy church-goers who bought and reserved their own pews to sit in (thus relegating the poor to the back of the church or out completely), these Methodists advocated for “free” churches. They also opposed slavery, advocating for freedom for all people. In addition, they wanted the church to be “free” from formalism in its worship.
When it became clear to these Methodists that the Methodist Church at that time was not going to embrace these freedoms, and after several of their leading spokespersons were dismissed by the mother church, the Free Methodist Church began August 23, 1860 in Pekin, New York. The Free Methodists sought to maintain the heritage of original Methodism with its warm-hearted, biblical message and lifestyle.
B. T. Roberts, an outspoken and gifted Methodist pastor, became the first Bishop of the Free Methodist Church. Roberts led the Free Methodist Church to grow into a flourishing connection of local congregations committed to proclaiming (1) freedom from sin through the grace and power of Jesus Christ, (2) freedom for all persons by advocating for just laws, (3) freedom in worship, and (4) free pews symbolizing for open access to–and signaling God’s preference for–the poorest of the poor.