Methodists and their Missionary Societies 1900-1996: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Methodists and their Missionary Societies 1900-1996

1st Edition

By John Pritchard


366 pages

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Paperback: 9781138247512
pub: 2016-10-19
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The twentieth century saw the spectacular growth of Christianity in much of the global south, the transformation of mission fields into self-governing Churches, schemes of church union (some successful, others abortive), evolving attitudes to other faiths and significant Christian engagement with issues of racial justice and world poverty. This book examines the contribution of the Methodist Missionary Society (and its predecessors before 1932) to these world-changing movements, from the remarkable mass conversions in south-west China and west Africa early in the century to the controversy over grants to liberation movements in the 1970s and 1980s. Pritchard traces the MMS contribution to education, health care, rural development and social welfare and describes the administration of the Societies and the selection and preparation of candidates for missionary service. This is a ground-breaking study of Methodist Overseas Mission in the twentieth century, how it adjusted to changing circumstances - including the forced withdrawals from China and Burma - and developed new initiatives and partnerships, including its World Church in Britain programme which brought missionaries from the younger Churches to serve in Britain and Ireland.


’I think this is an excellent volume … The title alone makes this an essential text for anyone interested in the Methodist missionary movement. It is meant to be the definitive word on the subject, and I think it achieves this…’ MET Connexion '… this book offers a comprehensive overview of a world-changing movement - a story packed with heroism, mistakes, achievements, frustrations, and arguments. … I would recommend this title for graduate level students who are specializing in church history.' Mission Studies 'This is an informative and at times moving book. It tells many stories and yet has one overarching story: a changing church for a changing world; the transition from mission to mission partners; the call to serve and be served, to be loved and to love.' Proceedings of the Wesley Historical Society

About the Author

John Pritchard was the General Secretary, Methodist Church Overseas Division (MMS) from 1991 to 1996, having previously served as its Africa Secretary. He had been a missionary with the Methodist Church in Cote d’Ivoire - then a District of the British Methodist Conference - from 1966 to 1975, and was Secretary of the committee which drafted its constitution as an autonomous Church. In the 1970s he edited Urban Africa, a quarterly magazine published by the All Africa Conference of Churches. He chaired the interdenominational Friends of the Church in China for six years from 2000 and convened the Methodist Missionary History Project from its inception in 1994.

About the Series

Routledge Methodist Studies Series

Editorial Board: Ted A. Campbell, David N. Hempton, Priscilla Pope-Levison, Martin Wellings and Karen B. Westerfield Tucker

Methodism remains one of the largest denominations in the USA and is growing in South America, Africa and Asia (especially in Korea and China). This series spans Methodist history and theology, exploring its success as a movement historically and in its global expansion. Books in the series will look particularly at features within Methodism which attract wide interest, including: the unique position of the Wesleys; the prominent role of women and minorities in Methodism; the interaction between Methodism and politics; the ‘Methodist conscience’ and its motivation for temperance and pacifist movements; the wide range of Pentecostal, holiness and evangelical movements; and the interaction of Methodism with different cultures.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century
RELIGION / Christianity / Methodist