Kingstown/Chateaubelair Circuit

The Methodist Church of St. Vincent


The Start of Methodism

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It is generally accepted that the founders of the Methodist movement were John and Charles Wesley.

Both John and Charles went to Oxford University. John became Fellow of Lincoln College in 1726, and was ordained a priest in the Church of England (Anglican Church) in 1728. Charles, still a student began to meet with a group of friends for reading and religious study.

John became involved as the group’s senior member, and its activities expanded to include charitable work among the poor and the imprisoned. Their concern for disciplined spirituality earned them the nickname “The Holy Club” or “Methodists” for their methodical approach.

John Wesley’s quest for holiness and peace with God took him to the new colony of Georgia, in 1735, to work among the settlers and the Native Americans. After a disappointing ministry in Georgia he returned to England three (3) years later, but during his time there he made contact with a group of Moravian Christians whose vibrant faith and assurance made a deep impression on him…

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Methodism in the Caribbean

It is generally accepted that Methodism came to the Caribbean in 1760 when a planter from Antigua, named Nathaniel Gilbert. Gilbert was a lawyer, the owner of two sugar estates returned to Antigua and the Speaker of the Antiguan House of Assembly. He was, prior to his religious experience, very suspicious of and averse to anything that savoured of “enthusiasm”.

Sometime in 1755, Nathaniel Gilbert was ill and sent his daughter Mary, who was five years old to fetch a certain book from another room. Mary brought to him was a treatise of John Wesley, “An Appeal to Men of Reason and Religion.” This had been sent to him by his brother Francis and was in fact not the book he had wanted at the time. However, with time on his hands, the ill Nathaniel Gilbert read it and was never the same man again.

As a result of this Gilbert two years latter journeyed to England, with three of his slaves. A drawing room meeting was arranged in Wandsworth on January 15, 1759, with John Wesley as the preacher. Nathaniel Gilbert and two of his slaves were converted. He returned to the West Indies in 1759. With his return Gilbert began to preach to his slaves in Antigua…

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The MCCA has eight Districts and has its headquarters in Antigua. The eight Districts are Bahamas/Turks and Caicos Islands, Belize/Honduras, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Panama/Costa Rica and South Caribbean.

Up to 1996 the Conference of the MCCA met annually in May. In 1997 the MCCA made some changes to its structure. The Conference was renamed the Connexional Conference and now meets every three years. In between the meetings of the Connexional Conference its executive body, the Connexional Council acts on its behalf.

Also in 1997 Districts were given greater responsibility to make decisions affecting their work. Consequently the District Synod was renamed the District Conference, and the title Chairman of the District is now called District President…

Read more: MCCA Live