Wesleyan Beliefs


For more information on the beliefs of the Wesleyan Church, click the following link: http://www.wesleyan.org/beliefs

Our History


The Wesleyan Church was founded in 1968 when the Wesleyan Methodist Church and the Pilgrim Holiness Church merged. The new denomination was shaped by the Wesleyan Methodists’ appreciation for structure combining with the Pilgrims’ entrepreneurial spirit.

The holy blaze in the hearts of Wesleyans caught fire in 18th century England with a Church of England priest, John Wesley, who called upon Christian believers to commit to a life of holiness and the study of God’s Word. Our name “Wesleyan” honors him.

Wesley was an outstanding Oxford scholar, yet regarded himself as “a man of one book,” the Bible. It was while studying the Bible that Wesley received assurance of his salvation through faith. It was the Bible that motivated his vision for offering Christ to the common people of England and which eventually led to the nation’s greatest spiritual revival.

Biblical truth inspired Wesley to develop a school for orphans, job programs and medical assistance for the poor, efforts to reform inhumane prisons and arguments for the abolition of slavery. Confidence in the Bible as “the only and sufficient rule for Christian faith and practice” (to use Wesley’s own words) remains a hallmark of The Wesleyan Church today.

It was in 1843 that our leaders organized to address social issues through The Wesleyan Methodist Connection of America. Wesleyans were one of the first denominations in America to ordain women and were at the forefront of giving laity significant roles in church leadership.

The movement spread like wildfire as passionate Wesleyans began to radically apply their faith to every area of their life and communities, leading to reformations in education, culture, and governments.

Wesleyan groups in both England and North America openly opposed slavery, called for women’s rights, and stood up against child labor atrocities.

This distinct call to holiness and witness bound Wesleyans together as a diverse family of multiple nationalities, races, languages, and cultures. Members of The Wesleyan Church continue to be catalysts for individual and social transformation.

Learn more about our history in the Wesleyan archives.


July 8, 2014 The Kentucky-Tennessee District elected a new district superintendent on June 28.  (wesleyan.org)  Rev. Aaron Sherman had been serving as interim D.S. for the previous four months. Prior to that, he was assistant district superintendent of the KY-TN district for two years and president of the Maysville Wesleyan Camp. He was ordained in 2004.  Rev. Sherman has pastored churches in New York, Ohio, and most recently in Louisville, Kentucky, for a total of eighteen years. Those churches have experienced spiritual revival and numerical growth along with multi-ethnic and social outreach in their Great Commission ministries. In addition to pastoral service, Rev. Sherman was employed as a psychiatric counselor for St. Mary's Health Care in Amsterdam, N.Y., and a social worker with Catholic Charities in Albany, N.Y.  Dr. Harry Wood is a former General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church and a long-time district superintendent in the Penn-Jersey and Chesapeake Districts. He has had a formal coaching relationship with Rev. Sherman for the last three months, during Rev. Sherman's interim leadership of the Kentucky-Tennessee District. In commenting on Saturday’s election, Dr. Wood said: The rise to leadership of Aaron Sherman has been orchestrated by God. I compare it to when the shepherd boy, David, was chosen by God and divinely prepared to give leadership to God's people. It is not surprising that Aaron has outstanding administrative skills. These were honed in secular settings. But his aptitude for the entire work of a district superintendent is remarkable. He has a humble, pastor's heart, yet he has a leader's grasp of the broader issues. He is capable of bringing loving resolution to thorny problems and has the necessary vision for seeing future possibilities for God's church. Rev. Sherman was raised in a parsonage in upstate New York and his family includes two brothers who are ordained ministers. He was called to preach at the age of six, was chaplain of a senior center at the tender age of fourteen, and was involved in teaching and evangelism as a young person in his church. Aaron met his wife and partner in ministry, Hannah, at church camp. She is originally from Northumberland, Penn. They have been married for fifteen years and are blessed to be the parents of four sons and one daughter: Ethan, Garrett, Ashden, Conner and Leanna.