The movement which would become The United Methodist Church began in the mid-18th century within the Church of England. A small group of students, including John Wesley, Charles Wesley and George Whitefield, met on the Oxford University campus. They focused on Bible study, methodical study of scripture and living a holy life. Other students mocked them, saying they were the “Holy Club” and “the Methodists”, being methodical and exceptionally detailed in their Bible study, opinions and disciplined lifestyle. Eventually, the so-called Methodists started individual societies or classes for members of the Church of England who wanted to live a more religious life.
In 1735, John and Charles Wesley went to America to teach the gospel to the American Indians in the colony of Georgia. In less than two years, the “Holy Club” disbanded. John Wesley returned to England and met with a group of clergymen he respected. He said “they appeared to be of one heart, as well as of one judgment, resolved to be Bible-Christians at all events; and, wherever they were, to preach with all their might plain, old, Bible Christianity”.
In 1968 the union of the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church became known as the United Methodist Church. The diversity of theological and political views among United Methodists creates a flexibility that is seen by many as it’s strongest qualities.
Taking form as an organized church as the new republic took shape in America, the church structure was parallel to that of the entirely new kind of government – for the people, by the people. The highest legislative body in the church is the General Conference, which meets every four years to chart the future missions and ministries of the church. Regional assemblies are held annually around the world to respond to the missional needs of the region by developing programs and ministries.
The Boonton United Methodist Church was established in 1857. The Church and Parsonage house were located on Main Street where the post office now stands. The congregation moved to the present location in 1958.