Kansas City Missouri Methodist Church
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Methodism, also called the Methodist movement, is a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity which derive their doctrine of practice and belief from the life and teachings of John Wesley. George Whitefield and John’s brother Charles Wesley were also significant early leaders in the movement. It originated as a revival movement within the 18th-century Church of England and became a separate denomination after Wesley’s death. The movement spread throughout the British Empire, the United States, and beyond because of vigorous missionary work, today claiming approximately 80 million adherents worldwide.[nb 1]
Wesleyan theology, which is upheld by the Methodist Churches, focuses on sanctification and the effect of faith on the character of a Christian. Distinguishing Methodist doctrines include the new birth,assurance,imparted righteousness, the possibility of entire sanctification, the works of piety, and the primacy of Scripture. Most Methodists teach that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for all of humanity and that salvation is available for all; in theology, this view is known as Arminianism.[nb 2] This teaching rejects the Calvinist position that God has pre-ordained the salvation of a select group of people. However, Whitefield and several other early leaders of the movement were considered Calvinistic Methodists and held to the Calvinist position. In addition to evangelism, Methodism emphasises charity and support for the sick, the poor, and the afflicted through the works of mercy. These ideals, collectively known as the Social Gospel, are put into practice by the establishment of hospitals, orphanages, soup kitchens, and schools to follow Christ’s command to spread the good news and serve all people.
The movement has a wide variety of forms of worship, ranging from high church to low church in liturgical usage. Denominations that descend from the British Methodist tradition are generally less ritualistic, while American Methodism is more so, the United Methodist Church in particular. Methodism is known for its rich musical tradition, and Charles Wesley was instrumental in writing much of the hymnody of the Methodist Church.
Early Methodists were drawn from all levels of society, including the aristocracy,[nb 3] but the Methodist preachers took the message to labourers and criminals who tended to be left outside organized religion at that time. In Britain, the Methodist Church had a major effect in the early decades of the developing working class (1760–1820). In the United States, it became the religion of many slaves who later formed black churches in the Methodist tradition.
The Kansas City metropolitan area is a bi-state 14-county metropolitan area straddling the border between the U.S. states of Missouri and Kansas, anchored by Jackson County, Missouri, and Johnson County, Kansas. Its most-populous municipality is Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO). With a population of 2,487,053 (2018 estimate), it ranks as the second-largest metropolitan area in Missouri (after Greater St. Louis) and the largest metropolitan area in Kansas. Alongside KCMO, the area includes a number of other cities and suburbs, the largest being Overland Park, Kansas; Kansas City, Kansas; Olathe, Kansas; and Independence, Missouri; each over 100,000 in population. The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) serves as the Council of Governments and the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the area.