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Ask The UMC: History of The United Methodist Church. Ask The UMC is a service of United Methodist Communications. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

The United Methodist Church was created over 50 years ago when The Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church united to form a new denomination. 

But the early beginnings of Methodism date back to 1736 when John and Charles Wesley came to the New World to spread the movement they began as students in England.

Learn more about the roots of our denomination and the developments that led to the church of today.

The Rev. Zenro Hirota (second row from the top, third from the left) poses with other attendees of the 10th Annual Session of the Pacific Japanese Mission of the Methodist Episcopal Church held in Seattle, Wash., in 1909. Hirota is listed as “pastor at San Francisco” on the original legend. Image courtesy of Archives and History of the California-Pacific Conference; graphic by Laurens Glass, United Methodist Communications.

Ask The UMC-FAQs

Pioneers in Methodism: Zenro Hirota

Rev. Zenro Hirota was a pioneer among Japanese American Methodists, serving for 45 years, often facing great difficulties, alongside his colleagues in the California Conference in a variety of settings (mission, local church, school, publishing, mission society leadership).