Methodist Church on the Prairies, 1896-1914

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McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, May 3, 2001 - History - 259 pages
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The Methodist Church met the challenge with a centralized polity and a cross-class, gender-variegated, evolving religious culture. It relied on wealthy laymen to raise special funds, while small gifts fed its regular funds. Young bachelors from Ontario and Britain filled the pastorate, although low pay, inexperience, and poor supervision caused many to quit. Membership growth was slow due to low population density and church-resistant elements in the Methodist population (bachelors, immigrant co-religionists, and transients), and missions to non-Anglo-Saxon immigrants in Winnipeg, Edmonton, and rural Alberta spread Methodist values but gained few members. In The Methodist Church on the Prairies, 1896-1914, the first scholarly study of church history in the prairie region, George Emery uses quantitative methods and social interpretation to show that the Methodist Church was a cross-class institution with a dynamic evangelical culture, not a middle-class institution whose culture was undergoing secularization. He demonstrates that the Methodist's achievement on the prairies was impressive and compared favourably with what Presbyterians and Anglicans achieved.
 

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Contents

The Prairie West as a Methodist Challenge
3
The Methodist Polity and the Social Profile of the Church
20
Methodist Traditions
36
Money
56
Clergy
78
Laity
104
Methodists and NonAngloSaxon Immigrants
126
All Peoples Mission Winnipeg
140
The Ukrainian Missions in Alberta
157
Conclusion
185
Notes
193
Bibliography
237
Index
257
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About the author (2001)

George Emery is a professor of history at the University of Western Ontario.

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