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United Methodist Church

The United Methodist Church (UMC) is a worldwide mainline Protestant denomination based in the United States, and a major part of Methodism. In the 19th century, its main predecessor, the Methodist Episcopal Church, was a leader in evangelicalism. The present denomination was founded in 1968 in Dallas, Texas, by union of the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church. The UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley in England, as well as the Great Awakening in the United States. As such, the church's theological orientation is decidedly Wesleyan. It embraces liturgical worship, holiness, and evangelical elements.

The United Methodist Church has a connectional polity, a typical feature of a number of Methodist denominations. It is organized into conferences. The highest level is called the General Conference and is the only organization which may speak officially for the UMC. The church is a member of the World Council of Churches, the World Methodist Council, and other religious associations.

In 2020, it had 6,268,310 members and 30,543 churches in the United States. In 2018, worldwide, it had 6,464,127 members and 31,268 churches. In 2015, the Pew Research Center estimated that 3.6 percent of the US population, or 9 million adult adherents, identified with the United Methodist Church, revealing a much larger number of adherents than registered membership.

On January 3, 2020, a group of the church's leaders proposed a plan to split the United Methodist Church over issues of sexual orientation (particularly same-sex marriage) and create a new traditionalist Methodist denomination, which is called the Global Methodist Church, though before its establishment, some congregations already left to join the Free Methodist Church, which is aligned with the Wesleyan-holiness movement.

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