The History and Development of
with special attention to the
written in 1995 by
A. Philip Brown II
On June 6, 1967, representatives of twenty-eight Wesleyan Methodist
churches met at Camp Eden, Alabama, to organize themselves into The
Bible Methodist Connection of Churches. Since no written history
exists which details either the events surrounding the secession
from Wesleyan Methodism and the formation of Bible Methodism or
its subsequent development, this history is in many ways
suggestive rather than exhaustive. The thesis developed here is that
Bible Methodism is essentially Wesleyan Methodism renamed. The
reasons for the Bible Methodist secession parallel in many respects
those of the Wesleyan Methodists in their secession from the
Methodist Episcopal Church in 1843. This history begins with a brief
sketch of the beginnings of Methodism under John Wesley and its
subsequent planting in America. Next, the secession of the Wesleyan
Methodists from the Methodist Episcopal Church as it provides a
backdrop to Bible Methodism is discussed. The third section surveys
the secession of Bible Methodism from the Wesleyan Methodist Church.
In the fourth section, contemporary Bible Methodism, particularly
the Alabama Bible Methodist Conference , is examined, and the final
section offers an analysis and critique of some of the positive and
negative elements of Bible Methodism.
John Wesley and American Methodism
While “no man is an island entire of itself,” the impress of some
men’s lives spans both their time and continent. John Wesley is such
a man. Educated at Oxford University, Wesley vainly sought peace
with God and assurance of salvation through methodical practice of
holy living. As he labored to find soul satisfaction, God was
seeking him. The process of God’s providence may be seen in the
several journeys which brought Wesley through Georgia, over the
Atlantic with Moravian Peter Böhler, and down Aldersgate Street one
spring evening in May of 1738 to saving faith in Christ alone.
Despite a flickering initial faith, God molded Wesley into an
instrument for His reviving of England. When Wesley died he had
imparted to the world the revived doctrine of the assurance of
salvation, the practical doctrine of Christian perfection, and a
vibrant Wesleyan Methodism.
The planting of Methodism in America took place through a few
Methodist laymen whose hearts were ablaze with a zeal for God and a
passion for souls. Methodist societies were established in Maryland,
Pennsylvania, and New York. By 1768, they were in need of
experienced pastors to nurture and direct the new works that had
sprung to life. Wesley sent several ministers for this purpose over
the course of the next several years. Francis Asbury and Thomas
Cokes[APBII,1] were two of the most significant leaders in the
formation of American Methodism.
In 1784, the Methodist Episcopal Church came into being, uniting the
sundry societies under the direction of Francis Asbury as general
superintendent. As its name indicates, the church polity was
episcopal. Wesley felt very strongly that the responsibility for the
oversight of the societies lay upon the clergy and not the laity. He
wrote in 1790, “As long as I live the people shall have no share in
choosing either stewards or leaders among the Methodists. We have
not and never had any such custom. We are no republicans, and never
intend to be.”
The American Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) grew rapidly in the
years following its inception. The revivals of the late 18th and
early 19th centuries resulted in a great swelling of Methodist
ranks. However, the thorny issue of slavery which was beginning to
work its way into the nerves of American society in general, became
a rancorous issue within the ranks of the American Methodist
Slavery, Episcopacy, and Wesleyan Methodism
By the 1830’s there was a growing sentiment in the North against
slavery. A strong abolitionist element became increasingly vocal
within the AME through the publication of Zion’s Watchman. The
official response of the AME Church was that neutrality on the issue
was the proper position. As the abolitionists continued to raise
their voices, sentiment actually turned more and more toward a
pro-slavery position. Abolitionists were debarred from membership,
censured, and sometimes expelled for their outcry against slavery.
Feeling that “the Bishops were arbitrary in their methods of
favoring pro-slavery resolutions and articles, and in opposing and
hindering any and all abolition resolutions,” they announced their
intention to withdraw from the AME Church in the first issue of the
We wish it to be distinctly understood that we do not withdraw from
anything essential to pure Wesleyan Methodism. We only dissolve our
connection with Episcopacy and Slavery. These we believe to be
anti-Scriptural, and well calculated to sustain each other.
So it was that in 1843, “while everybody was watching with bated
breath, hoping the unreconciled Southerners would not bolt and
sunder the church, [the abolitionists] marched out in the other
direction.” Orange Scott and La Roy Sunderland along with a “small
band of preachers and followers withdrew from the Methodist
Episcopal Church.” The key issues driving this withdrawal were
the social issue of slavery and episcopal church polity. While
slavery was the dominant issue of the times, it was not actually the
propulsive reason for withdrawal. The unjust treatment of the
abolitionists which episcopal polity made possible was the effective
cause. This same social issue-church polity combination reemerges as
the underlying cause of Bible Methodism some 120 years later.
The Wesleyan Methodist solution to this problem of polity is
reflected in the name of the new organization: The Wesleyan
Methodist Connection of America.  The Episcopal form of
government inherited from Wesley and Anglicanism, was replaced with
a loose connection of societies or churches which characterized the
Methodist movement in its earliest days. Essentially, Wesleyan
Methodism established a congregational republican polity. The
primary differences between the Methodist Episcopal Discipline and
the newly created Wesleyan Methodist Discipline were “the form of
the government and in its attitude toward certain moral
The subsequent history of the Wesleyan Methodist Connection is a
long and rich one. However, only those points which serve to
elucidate the background of Bible Methodism will be noted. The fact
that no doctrine was at stake in the Wesleyan Methodist withdrawal
is particularly significant.
The Wesleyan Methodists became progressively conservative both
practically and theologically throughout the 19th century. The
doctrine of entire sanctification, so intimately connected with
Methodism, was further refined in the General Conference of 1891,
evidencing the influence of the burgeoning Holiness Movement.
Wesleyan Methodism was closely associated with the Fundamentalist
movement in the early part of the 20th century. Nicholson, writing
in the 1930’s, states “The Wesleyan Methodist doctrines are
distinctively allied with the group known as ‘Fundamentalists.’”
Worldliness, Episcopacy, and Bible Methodism
The years following World War II were in many ways turbulent ones
for the Wesleyan Methodist Church. Nicholson describes the national
attitude as one of “indifference toward spiritual values.” In
the face of a growing tendency toward independence on the part of
the local churches and the Annual Conferences, the General
Conference began moving to strengthen its supervision of both the
Annual Conferences and the local churches. In 1943 the General
Conference recommended the development of a stronger, “central
supervisory authority to oversee the work of our Church.” This
recommendation was adopted by the 1947 General Conference along with
the change of the name of the denomination from The Wesleyan
Methodist Connection of America to The Wesleyan Methodist Church of
America. Although these two changes were slow in coming, they
reflect a monumental reversal of the very ecclesiological and church
polity principles which were at the heart of the creation of The
Wesleyan Methodist Connection.
“The foment which the [WM] Church experienced over the next
twenty-one years revolved about the quest for a proper balance
between the rights and responsibilities of the individual, the
authority and the responsibility of the annual conference, and the
power of the General Conference.” Accompanying this movement
toward greater centralization was a trend away from the standards of
separation from the world which had previously characterized
Another background factor in the process that lead to the creation
of Bible Methodism that is completely unrecognized by Nicholson is
the influence The Inter-Church Holiness Convention (IHC). The IHC
was created in 1952 as a means of bringing together the conservative
element of the Holiness movement in one place for mutual edification
and support. The Convention was a tremendous success and was
regularly attended by thousands of holiness people. During the
1950’s and early 1960’s, Communism was thought to be the forerunner
of the Anti-Christ, and an indication of the imminent return of
Christ. The National Council of Churches and the World Council of
Churches were considered by many to be front organizations for
Communism. Much of the preaching of this era communicated the belief
that these world-encompassing groups were soon to take over the
world, that the believer should guard against any encroachment of
worldliness, and that he should separate from those who were “going
worldly.” This focus gradually developed into a powerful emphasis
on, in Trouten’s words, “come-outism.”
Issues and Conflict
Several issues which were crucial in the formation of Bible
Methodism clearly emerge from this period: 1) the question of
merger, first with the Free Methodist Church, and then with the
Pilgrim Holiness Church, 2) the continued strengthening of the
General Conference’s authority over the Annual Conferences, and 3)
the growing concern over “worldliness,” viz., the use of the
Television, dress standards, and the wedding ring.
Concern over an encroaching worldliness led the Ohio Conference to
adopt a resolution in 1951 which gave greater specificity to the
Wesleyan Methodist Discipline’s requirement of its members to have
“left off the wearing of gold.” The resolution specified that the
wedding band was included in this prohibition. In the 1955 General
Conference, the Conference President, Dr. Roy S. Nicholson, ruled
that such an interpretation was unconstitutional. His ruling was
appealed, and the Board of Review sustained his ruling. The
Tennessee Conference passed a similar resolution concerning TV,
which, when appealed by certain members of the Tennessee Conference,
was overruled by the 1959 General Conference.
Concurrent with these issues was the question of merger. The first
merger attempt with the Free Methodist Church met great opposition
primarily because the Free Methodist Church was episcopal in
government. A 96 to 62 vote defeated the merger proposal in 1955.
The second merger proposal concerned the Pilgrim Holiness
Church. This proposal was eventually adopted in 1966 despite
strong opposition, and the merger was scheduled for 1968. All of
these issues together provided the impetus for the secessions that
followed the 1966 General Conference.
Secession and Establishment
The stated reasons for secession from the Wesleyan Methodist Church
differ among the conferences which seceded. The Ohio Conference was
the first conference to withdraw. Rev. Edsel Trouten, the leader and
spokesman for the Ohio group, was adamantly opposed to the
purposeful shift within Wesleyan Methodism toward a more centralized
church government. “The primary issue was never standards
[worldliness]; it was always government.” Roy Nicholson offers
an insightful analysis of the underlying reasons for the schism:
It is not without significance that some of the most active
agitators in the schismatic efforts were not originally members of
The Wesleyan Methodist Church. ...Also some had not been trained in
Wesleyan Methodist principles and polity by Wesleyan Methodist
teachers in Wesleyan Methodist institutions.
E. R. Trouten was trained at God’s Bible School (GBS) in Cincinnati,
Ohio. While TroutenWhileTrouten was at GBS, a non-denominational
holiness Bible college, the book which most profoundly affected his
understanding of ecclesiology was The Doctrine of the Church in
these Times by Chester Tulga, a Conservative Baptist
fundamentalist. Thus it was Baptist fundamentalism which
provided the initial foundation for the polity of the man most
instrumental in articulating the reasons for the withdrawal. Trouten
authored The Manifesto and Constitution of the Society for the
Preservation of Primitive Wesleyan Methodism which served as a
rallying point for both the conservatives within the Ohio Conference
and the Alabama Conference. This Manifesto primarily focuses upon
the opposition of the conservatives to “the relentless move to a
centralized and arbitrary character of government, that in our own
historical context was considered to be justifiable grounds for
separation from the parent body.” The stated purpose of the
Manifesto was the creation of a society within the Wesleyan
Methodist Church for the preservation of Primitive Wesleyan
Methodism. It was not originally intended to be a statement of
withdrawal. Once formed, the Society resurrected the original organ
of Wesleyan Methodism, The True Wesleyan, as a means to call the
Wesleyan Methodist Church back to its roots.
Approximately six months after the creation of this society,
dialogue with Leslie D. Wilcox, the Ohio Annual Conference
President, revealed that the differences between the purpose of the
newly formed society and the direction of the Wesleyan Methodist
Church were irreconcilable. On June 7, 1966, the pastors of the
Society who were withdrawing from the Wesleyan-Methodist Church met
with the Ohio Conference trustees to discuss the settlement of the
church property problem. Trouten comments, “These men worked fairly
and equitably with all the withdrawing churches.” On June 9th
the society adopted the name Wesleyan Connection of Churches and
ratified a revised edition of the Wesleyan Methodist constitution
which Trouten had edited.
The Alabama Conference waited until its official Annual Conference
in 1967 to withdraw from the WMC. The issues cited in “A Brief
History of The Bible Methodist Connection of Churches,” a prologue
to the Minutes of the First Annual Conference of Bible Methodist
Connection of Churches, were “(1) The wearing of the wedding band by
members of the church; (2) TV ownership and viewing by ministers and
laymen;” (3) “Worldly trends which were making inroads into our area
college [Central College];” (4) Opposition “to any connection
whatever with the National Council of Churches;” (5) Opposition “to
the increasing trend toward centralized government in the General
Church [WMC].” “These issues, however, climaxed in the issue of
church merger.” The approval of union with the Pilgrim Holiness
Church by the 1966 Wesleyan Methodist General Conference was the
spark that lit the powder keg.
In 1968, while the Pilgrim Holiness Church and the Wesleyan
Methodist Church were merging, the Ohio Wesleyan Connection of
Churches was meeting with the Alabama Bible Methodists to see if a
union of these two like-minded groups could be effected. Eighteen
months later, in May, 1970, the First General Conference of the
Bible Methodist Connection of Churches met on the campus of God’s
Bible School to officially unite these two groups as the Bible
Methodist Connection of Churches with a total membership of 794
persons. The official Declaration of Purpose reads as follows:
Recognizing from past histories of holiness bodies that a decline in
emphasis upon personal holiness seems to coincide with the increase
of emphasis upon organization, centralization of authority and the
machinery of church life, the Bible Methodist Connection of Churches
wishes to state that the whole and sole cause and purpose of this
connection of churches is to spread scriptural (second blessing)
holiness over the lands, building up a holy and separated people for
the first resurrection.
Bible Methodism Today
Doctrine and Practice
The Articles of Faith of Bible Methodism come directly from the 1959
Discipline of the Wesleyan Methodist Church which appears to be
unaltered since the 1891 General Conference. The theological
perspective of Bible Methodism is classic Wesleyan-Arminianism. It
is fundamentalist in character, though the very “connectional”
nature of its organization allows for a diversity in application of
the doctrine of separation. Its doctrinal distinctive is primarily
the belief that Christ’s atonement provided for salvation in this
life from both sin as a practice and sin as an inherited principle.
The Discipline defines Entire Sanctification as:
that work of the Holy Spirit by which the child of God is cleansed
from all inbred sin through faith in Jesus Christ. It is subsequent
to regeneration and is wrought when the believer presents himself a
living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, and is thus enabled
through grace to love God with all the heart and to walk in His holy
That this is not teaching a sinless perfectionism is clearly seen in
the statement under the heading “XII. Sin after Justification”:
After we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace
given and fall into sin and by the grace of God rise again to amend
our lives. Therefore, they are to be condemned who say they can no
more sin as along as they live here or deny the place of forgiveness
to such as repent [italics mine].
The mode of baptism is not addressed the Discipline, and, while
immersion is the normal practice, the other modes of baptism are not
Practical separation from the world continues to be a major emphasis
of Bible Methodism. However, Bible Methodism evidences a good
balance between the twin truths of external separation from the
world and the absolute necessity for those standards to come from a
heart motivated to please God, rather than from conformity to a
standard for the sake of outward acceptability.
Declension and Expansion
Bible Methodism began with 794 members in 36 churches. In 1993 total
membership was 534, in 1994 the total membership was 578, and in
1995 the total membership was 623. Although the author does not have
a continuous record of membership totals, both oral interviews and
personal observation indicate that a sharp declension in membership
occurred in during the first ten years following the withdrawal.
This was, in many cases, the loss of those who were children during
the withdrawal and were disenchanted by the withdrawal and the
attitudes of certain participants in the withdrawal.
Within its thirty years of history, this declension apperas to have
reached its nadir and is begianning to be reversed. The reasons for
this reversal are not clear at present.
Currently the Presidents of the three3 major colleges of the
Conservative Holiness Movement, Hobe Sound Bible College, God’s
Bible School, and Union Bible College, are all members of the Bible
Methodist Connection of Churches. There is a renewed emphasis on the
necessity of educational preparation for the ministry. Young men are
actively being recruited to serve in pioneer works with in Bible
Elementary and Secondary Christian education has a significant role
in Bible Methodism. As of 1995, six Christian day schools are owned
and operated by the Bible Methodists.
Analysis and Conclusion
Negative Elements within Bible Methodism
Bible Methodism lost its focus on aggressive lay evangelism in the
process of the secession. This is a result largely of a inadequate
appropriation of its Wesleyan heritage. John Wesley was a man of one
passion: “I have nothing to do but save souls.” The full
implications of his statement include both an aggressive evangelism
and a clear call to living a holy life. The believer was to pursue
entire sanctification pursue with methodical focus, and, if
attaining to this grace, was to continue seeking to grow in his love
for God and his fellow man. The theological development of
Wesleyanism since Wesley placed the emphasis on attaining entire
sanctification. Throughout the 19th century and well into the 20th
century this dual emphasis continued to be the rallying cry of
conservative Methodism. However, beginning in the 40’s the focus on
external manifestations of holiness began to choke the life out of
the evangelistic part. When Bible Methodism came out of Wesleyan
Methodism, though for Trouten and those first Ohio secessionists the
primary motivation was polity concerns, for the majority of the
ministers and laity, the greater concern was worldliness. This
concern developed into a “hold the fort” mentality which created
suspicion of anyone or anything that might dilute the conservatism
of Bible Methodism. Hence, the churches turned inward and lost sight
of the greater issues and needs of their world.
Bible Methodism lost a clear Biblical presentation of the doctrine
of entire sanctification, and consequently this doctrine has been
largely unpreached, particularly by the second generation. Where it
was preached, the lack of clarity both in oral presentation and
living representation generated more confusion than clarity. The
doctrine was not abandoned, but was unpossessed by many of those who
grew up within Bible Methodism. This lack of clarity resulted to
some degree from the leftover elements of unbiblical terminology
from the Holiness Movement which began in the last century. The
Holiness Movement was dominated by godly, but uneducated preachers
whose colloquial expressions of their personal experience became the
standard terminology for theological definition and expression (e.g.
second blessing holiness). The terminology, while not Biblically
wrong, is not Biblical in origin and has tended to be both
misdefined and misunderstood.
Bible Methodism lost the personal accountability that was so
characteristic of Wesleyanism, and consequently lost the dynamic
which had constantly propelled Wesleyans on in their pursuit of holy
living. The decline of the “class meeting” became most prominent
during the years 1940-1960. By the late 60’s it was largely a relic
of a bygone era, practiced by few.
Though the reasons for this decline are surely complex, Norwood’s
comments on the nature of early Methodism are insightful:
Idea of churches still functioning as societies, but now the
societal element has been largely replaced by the “standard” church
Positive Elements in Bible Methodism
Like the tender green leaves of Spring, some positive trends are
becoming increasingly visible within Bible Methodism. The primary
areas of this resurgence are in missions and church planting.
At present Bible Methodism has more churches on mission fields than
any of its separate Annual Conferences have. Its primary field is in
the Philippines where it has some 40 churches and a Bible College
operating under national leadership. The Philippine work is
organized with its own National Conference with four Annual
Conferences. In Mexico, the Bible Methodist Churches were organized
into a National Conference in 1992. There the Latin American Bible
Institute is operating, with intermittent struggles from lack of
faculty and non-cooperative Mexican authorities, on the Mexico-Texas
border to train Mexican laymen and pastors to do the work of the
ministry. In 1992, two men from South Africa came to the United
States seeking for a Methodist Church to affiliate their pioneer
work in that country. After traveling throughout the States meeting
with various denominations they found Bible Methodism, with its
conservative lifestyle and emphasis on holiness, to be the most
compatible with their own beliefs. Subsequently, they joined Bible
Methodism and become an arm of Bible Methodist missions operating in
Home Missions, or church planting, was a dead issue in Bible
Methodism until the last seven years. The results of the ingrown
focus were isolation and stagnation. However, with the entrance of
aggressive leadership in this area, Bible Methodists are beginning
to see the potential for evangelizing their communities. Beyond
this, at least two new daughter churches are being pioneered, with
the evident blessing of God.
While this history leaves many gaps in the history and development
of Bible Methodism, it is hoped that enough evidence has been
presented to confirm the general thesis that Bible Methodism is
Wesleyan Methodism revived. Its doctrine, polity, and standards of
personal holiness distinctively mark it as a child of Wesleyan
Hilson, James Benjamin. History of South Carolina Conference:
Wesleyan Methodist Church of America. Winona Lake, Indiana: Light
and Life Press, 1950.
McLeister, Ira F and Roy S. Nicholson. Conscience and Commitment:
History of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of America. 4th rev. ed.
Marion, Indiana: The Wesley Press, 1976.
Nicholson, Roy S. Wesleyan Methodism in the South. Syracuse, N.Y.:
The Wesleyan Methodist Publishing House, 1933.
Norwood, Frederick A. The Story of American Methodism. New York:
Abingdon Press, 1974.
Trouten, Edsel R. Manifesto and Constitution of the Society for the
Preservation of Primitive Wesleyan Methodism. Pamphlet.
Self-Published, Feb. 1966.
Watson, Philip S. Anatomy of a Conversion: The Message and Mission
of John & Charles Wesley. Grand Rapids: Frances Asbury Press of
Zondervan Publishing House, 1984.
Bible Methodist Publications
Alabama Annual Conference Minutes. Twenty-ninth Annual Session. 1995
Discipline of the Bible Methodist Connection of Churches. Published
by The General Conference, 1991.
Minutes of the Bible Methodist Connection of Churches. First General
Minutes of the Bible Methodist Connection of Churches. First Annual
Quadrennial Report of the General Missionary Secretary to the
Seventh General Conference. June 15, 1994.
Brush, Norman, former Bible Methodist Pastor (1963-68), presently in
Hobe Sound, Florida. Interview by the author, 13 April 1996,
Greenville, SC. Telephone interview.
Littleton, Curt, Alabama Bible Methodist Home Missions secretary,
Lawley, AL. Interviewed by the author, 17 April 1996, Greenville,
SC. Telephone Interview.
Parker, John, Pastor of Easley Bible Methodist Church. Interview by
the author, 14 April 1996, Easley SC. Personal interview.
Trouten, Edsel, former Bible Methodist pastor and spokesman for the
Bible Methodist secession, presently in Barberton, Ohio. Interview
by the author. 15 April 1996, Greenville, SC. Telephone interview.
Trouten, Edsel, R. Chapter 1 - Society for the Preservation of
Primitive Wesleyan Methodism. Handwritten manuscript recording the
formation of the Society for the Preservation of Primitive Wesleyan
Methodism and the events leading up to and just following the
formation of the Ohio Wesleyan Connection of Churches, subsequently
the Ohio Bible Methodists. [no date].
________. “Why the ... True Wesleyan?” Unpublished paper. [no date].
Gives the reason for the creation of the publication, True Wesleyan,
by the Wesleyan Connection of Churches.
________. Discipline of the Wesleyan Connection. 1966.
Handwritten-typed original manuscript revision of the 1964 Wesleyan
Methodist Discipline for the creation of the Discipline of the
 Roy S. Nicholson presents elements of these events in his
discussion of the Wesleyan Methodist transition to superintendency
and the merger with the Pilgrim holiness in his history, Wesleyan
Methodism in the South. (Syracuse, N.Y.: The Wesleyan Methodist
Publishing House, 1933), chs. 16-17. However, his presentation,
though accurate as far as it goes, is spotty and naturally one-sided
in its perspective (he was General Conference president of the
Wesleyan Methodists during this period). No mention of the pivotal
significance of the Inter-Church Holiness Convention is made or of
the subsequent development of Bible Methodism. While Rev. E. R.
Trouten, one of the leaders of the Bible Methodist “come-out”
movement has collected much of the pertinent material, he has not
had time to leave the pastorate to pursue a doctoral dissertation or
to write on this subject, Edsel R. Trouten, Telephone interview, 14
 The lack of a history of the subsequent development of Bible
Methodism stems from the relative recentness of this movement.
Although Trouten specifically disavowed any appeal to history as
judge of the propriety of this secession at the time of the merger,
such an appeal was made by the early leadership of the Alabama
Conference, Minutes of the Bible Methodist Connection of Churches.
“A Brief History of The Bible Methodist Connection of Churches.”
(First Annual Conference, 1967), 1-2. Enough time has now passed for
such a judgment to begin to be formed.
 One of the most prominent lay preachers in American was Robert
Strawbridge. He planted societies throughout Maryland and Virginia.
Captain Thomas Webb was “active in lay preaching in New York, Long
Island, Pennsylvania and other centers. Frederick A. Norwood, The
Story of American Methodism, (New York: Abingdon Press, 1974), 67.
 Norwood, 40.
 In the Quadrennial Assembly of 1836 the bishops’ Episcopal
Address stated, “From every view of the subject [slavery] which we
have been able to take, and from the most calm and dispassionate
survey of the whole ground, we have come to the solemn conviction
that the one safe, scriptural, and prudent way for us, both as
ministers and people, to take, is wholly to refrain from the
agitating the subject.” Norwood, 194.
 Nicholson, Roy S. Wesleyan Methodism in the South. (Syracuse,
N.Y.: The Wesleyan Methodist Publishing House, 1933), 9-12.
 Norwood, 195-96
 The reasons for withdrawal were cleared stated as follows: “The
Methodist Episcopal church is not only a slave-holding , but slavery
defending Church. The Methodist Episcopal Church Government contains
principles not laid down in the Scriptures, nor recognized in the
usage of the primitive church-- principles which are subversive of
the rights, both of ministers and laymen.” Nicholson, 11.
 Luther Lee, one of the founding Wesleyan Methodists, commenting
of the name given to this new church states, “...the term
“Connection” was approved by all, as it expresses a principle.
Single Christian congregations are held to be Churches, in a New
Testament sense, and that all these Christian congregations,
collectively, are not a Church. All the Wesleyan Methodist churches
in America, are not a Church, but being connected by a central
organization, they are a connection of Churches, hence we call
ourselves, “The Wesleyan Methodist Connection of America.” Ira F.
McLeister and Roy S. Nicholson, Conscience and Commitment: The
History of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of America, 4th rev. ed.
(Marion, Indiana: The Wesley Press, 1976), 33-34.
 In summary: the AME allowed the use of intoxicating drinks
without restriction whereas the WMC prohibited completely the social
uses of alcohol; the AME permitted the buying and selling of slaves
whereas the WMC forbad it entirely; in the AME the General
Conference consisted only of ministers elected by ministers at the
Annual Conferences whereas in the WMC the General Conference
consisted of an equal number of ministers and laymen elected by the
ministers and laymen at the Annual Conference. McLeister, 32.
 It was not until 1930 that the Wesleyan Methodists prohibited
the use of tobacco by their members. Norman Brush, Telephone
 Nicholson, 14.
 McLeister, 222.
 McLeister, 244.
 Ibid., 222-23
 Trouten, Interview.
 McLeister, 230.
 McLeister, 270, ftnt. 9.
 McLeister, 245.
 Nicholson fails to give the reasons for the proposed merger in
his discussion of this issue. The basic reasons for the merger are
given in the Merger Proposal recommended to the Wesleyan Methodist
General Board by the Pilgrim Holiness Church Commission on Merger
which was presented at the 1966 International Conference. In summary
the reasoning was: 1) Merger should enable the churches to do
unitedly what they could not do separately; 2) Through merger, the
churches should be better able to do together the things which they
were not doing separately; 3) Merger became a strategic opportunity
to correct weaknesses in both churches, to utilize their strengths
to greater advantage, and to find new and better ways to communicate
to this generation, and 4) merger will bring both the discipline and
the delight of wider fellowship.
 It is perhaps worthy of mention that out of the desired merger
of two churches to form one united body, six distinct denominational
bodies came into being: the Allegheny Wesleyan Methodist Connection,
Bible Methodism, the Tennessee Bible Methodists, the New York
Pilgrims, the Midwest Pilgrims, and the Wesleyan Church. The merger
resulted in the loss of 10-13% of the members of the Wesleyan
Methodist Church alone. McLeister, 310-311.
 A group of 13+ pastor from the Ohio Conference.
 Trouten, Interview.
 Nicholson, 311.
 Trouten, Interview.
 Edsel Trouten, Manifesto and Constitution of the Society for
the Preservation of Primitive Wesleyan Methodism, Self-Published
Pamphlet. Feb., 1966.
 The presence of H.E. Schmul, the Executive Secretary of the
Inter-Church Holiness Convention, as the speaker at the first
meeting of the “Society for the Preservation of Primitive Wesleyan
Methodism” may reflect the influence he had in all of these events.
Edsel Trouten, Personal notes, p. 4. [Post-class notes from Trouten:
Schmul’s influence should be studied. The influence of IHC on the
come-out movement was profound. Schmul insisted that the IHC was not
designed to start a new church. The creation of Bible Methodism
along the lines of Wesleyan Methodism was to accommodate people like
Wilcox and Gale who were strongly Wesleyan Methodism. ERT]
 Edsel Trouten, “Why the ... True Wesleyan?” Unpublished paper.
 Trouten’s personal notes from a phone call with the Conference
President, L. D. Wilcox, record Wilcox’s official response to the
Society after meeting with the Conference Advisory Board: “If after
further careful and prayerful consideration you still feel strongly
that you are committed to the support of the Manifesto, we recommend
that you take step to withdraw from the Church (Wesleyan Methodist
Church), since we foresee no possibility of accomplishing the
objectives named in the Manifesto.”
 Trouten, personal notes.
 Minutes of the Bible Methodist Connection of Churches. (First
Annual Session., 1967).
 Bible Methodist Discipline, 7.
 Bible Methodist Discipline, 12. It is noteworthy that this is
the exact definition adopted by the 1891 General Conference of the
Wesleyan Methodist Connection.
 Bible Methodist Discipline, 11.