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Timeline illustrates ‘living faith’

 

Rev. Clayton Childers and Kurt Karandy
March-April 2016

Based on information provided by the Rev. Clayton Childers, director of annual conference relations, General Board of Church and Society, and Kurt Karandy, Ph.D. candidate in American religious history at Princeton University

GC: General Conference

MEC: Methodist Episcopal Church

MEC: South: Methodist Episcopal Church, South

1879

Francis Willard, a Methodist from Chicago, becomes leader of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union

1904

GC of MEC establishes "Temperance Society;" Bishop William McDowell named president

1908

GC adopts "Social Creed of Methodism" supporting abolition of child labor, a "living wage in every industry," the "highest wage that each industry can afford" and use of arbitration and reconciliation in industrial dissentions

1910

The Rev. Clarence True Wilson appointed as first field secretary of Temperance Society; office is in Chicago

1912

Church Temperance Society becomes Board of Temperance; relocates to Topeka, Kansas

Federal Council of Churches adopts "Social Creed of the Churches" based on the 1908 Social Creed; affirms care of "workers in their old age"

1916

GC approves "Child Welfare Society;" declares it a sin to obtain a liquor license

GC moves Board of Temperance, Prohibition and Public Morals to Washington, D.C.

1920

Prohibition signed into law

1924

Methodist Building on Capitol Hill opens on Jan. 16

1924

GC approves new section of The Book of Discipline on "World Peace"

1932

GC affirms "conscientious objector" option

Federal Council of Churches approves "Social Ideals," including statements on agriculture, race relations, free speech and humane prison reform

1934

MEC, South amends and approves Federal Council of Church's "Social Ideals"

1939

Merger of MEC, MEC, South and Methodist Protestant Church; new Social Creed created based on the "Social Ideals"

1940

GC establishes Commission on World Peace

1944

GC passes resolutions on immigration, war and economic justice

1952

GC establishes Board of Social and Economic Relations

1956

GC declares "capital punishment" incompatible with Christian teaching; approves full clergy rights for women

1960

GC forms Board of Christian Social Concerns consolidating temperance, world peace and economic relations to be located in Washington, D.C.

1963

Division on World Peace establishes office at The Church Center for the United Nations in New York

1960s Board of Social Concerns supports Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, Immigration and Nationality Act; opposes war in Vietnam and nuclear weapons proliferation

1972

GC creates General Board of Church and Society (GBCS); adopts new "Social Principles," including a section on "The Natural World"

1992

GC supports right to "job at a living wage"

2002

GBCS and National Council of Churches convene faith and peace organizations in effort to head off invasion of Iraq; GBCS joins coalition supporting McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act (passed)

2004

GC changes stand on alcohol to allow "judicious use ... with Scripture as guide"

2008

GC adopts "A Companion Litany to Our Social Creed"

2010

GBCS active in coalition of faith groups supporting the Affordable Care Act (passed)

2014-15

GBCS leads consultations as a first step toward drafting new "Social Principles"