Bishop Wilson T. Hogue (Photo courtesy of<br />Marston Memorial Historical Center)
The success achieved by the Free Methodist Church is to be measured not merely by its own statistical showing, material equipment and spiritual development, but also by the good it has accomplished outside the organization.
The church’s influence as an evangelizing agency has been decidedly marked in relation to the general “Holiness Movement” of the country. The church’s influence as a witnessing body and an evangelizing agency has also been marked in its relation to the spirituality of other churches.
The Free Methodist Church has ever stood in the foremost ranks of the reform forces. Organized at a time when the anti-slavery reform was reaching its culmination, among its General Rules was one forbidding “the buying, selling or holding of a human being as a slave.” From that day forward, Free Methodism was ever aggressively devoted to the abolition of slavery.
The church has exerted in no inconsiderable degree beneficent influences beyond its own denominational bounds through the work done in its various schools. While these schools are denominational as to their ownership and administration, they are open to and attended by the representatives of all denominations. In India, Africa, China, Japan, Persia [Iran], Ceylon [Sri Lanka], Santo Domingo [the capital of the Dominican Republic] and in nearly every country on the globe, the influence of these educational institutions is constantly pulsating through the labors of their alumni.
The church ought to have exerted a much wider and more powerful influence upon the nation and the world. Yet, when we look at what has been achieved in the light of the smallness of its beginning, the limited character of its resources and the opposition it encountered, we surely have reason to exclaim: “What hath God wrought!” (Numbers 23:23 KJV).
This article is a condensed excerpt from Hogue’s “History of the Free Methodist Church of North America, Volume 2,” which was first published in 1915.