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Antecedents to the Mississippi Conference, UMC

Summary of Historical Divisions of Methodism in Mississippi

The Mississippi Conference, United Methodist Church, is the continuing life of six former conferences within the bounds of the state of Mississippi, beginning with Rev. Tobias Gibson's appointment by the South Carolina Conference to the Natchez Territory in 1799. American Methodism was founded in 1784 by John Wesley, Francis Asbury, and Thomas Coke, and the denomination was called the Methodist Episcopal Church, (MEC).

The Mississippi Conference antecedent groups are:

1) Mississippi Conference, MEC, (1813-1844), continued as Miss. Conference, MEC, South, (1845-1939) following the 1844 General Conference split over slavery, and continued as Miss. Conference, The Methodist Church (TMC) following the union of the 3 major branches of Methodism (1939-1968), continuing in the United Methodist Church (UMC) following the merger with Evangelical United Brethren
(1969-present). (There were no EUB churches in Miss. at the time of merger.)

2) North Mississippi Conference, MEC, South (1870-1938), formed from former Mississippi, Memphis, and Mobile Conferences in 1870, and continued as North Miss. Conference, The Methodist Church following the union of the 3 major branches of Methodism (1939-1968), then continued as North Miss. Conference, United Methodist
Church (1969-1988) until merger with Mississippi Conference in 1989 to form present day Mississippi Conference.

3) Mississippi Conference, MEC, (1865-1938) was established in Mississippi by the Northern Methodist church to provide administration for newly freed black Methodists whose churches were formerly part of the MEC, South. The Conference continued as Miss. Conference, Central Jurisdiction, The Methodist Church, following the 1938 union (1939-1968), and United Methodist Church (1969-1972), until the merger of the black and white Miss. Conferences in 1972 forming the Mississippi Conference, Southeastern Jurisdiction, United Methodist Church (1973-present).

4) Upper Mississippi Conference, MEC, (1891-1938) formed out of the Miss. Conference, MEC, to administer black churches in the northern half of the state. Following the 1938 union, it continued as Upper Miss. Conference, Central Jurisdiction, The Methodist Church (1939-1968), and United Methodist Church (1969-1972), until the merger of the black Upper Miss. Conference with the white North Miss. Conference
in 1972, forming a new North Mississippi Conference, Southeastern Jurisdiction, UMC (1973-1988). In 1989, the North Mississippi and Mississippi Conferences merged to form the present Miss. Conference, UMC.

5) Mississippi Conference, Methodist Protestant Church (MPC) formed in 1841, several years after the main denominational split from the MEC in 1830 over lay representation and episcopal authority in the General Conference. The MPC was one of the three major branches of Methodism united 1938 to form The Methodist
Church (1939-1968), later the UMC (1969-present).

6) North Mississippi Conference, MPC, formed out of the Miss. Conference, MPC, in 1867, and united with the Upper Miss. Conference, MEC and North Miss. Conference, MEC,S in 1938 to become part of the North Miss. Conference, The Methodist Church (1939-1968), later the UMC (1969-1988), then the Miss. Conference, UMC (1989-present), following the merger of the North Miss. and Miss. Conferences in 1988.

See the Antecedents to the Mississippi Conference, UMC Chart for more information.