Association of Independent Methodists
|Association of Independent Methodists|
|Region||Worldwide (missions and 5 U.S. regions)|
|Separated from||The Methodist Church|
|Congregations||48 (in 8 U.S. states)|
The Association of Independent Methodists is a Methodist Christian denomination founded in 1965 by individuals who had left the The Methodist Church because of disagreements on church government and doctrinal matters. As of 2015, the denomination had 48 churches in 8 U.S. states, concentrated mostly in the South.
According to the statement of faith, "the Bible is the infallible Word of God, inerrant in the originals. There is one God, eternally existent in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," and "Jesus Christ alone is Man's Redeemer and is the only way to salvation and everlasting life." Furthermore, the Association believes in Jesus's "full deity, virgin birth, atoning death, bodily resurrection, heavenly ascension, and imminent return."
Salvation is "by grace through faith in the atonement and merits of Christ, appropriated through the repentance of sins and a lively trust in Him."
Evangelical in belief, the Association states "there is to be a resurrection of both the saved and the lost, the saved to everlasting life and the lost to everlasting damnation." True to the Wesleyan position, the Association adheres to a belief in entire sanctification: "The believer can be cleansed from all sin through the sanctifying power of the blood of Christ applied to the heart of him who believes by the work of the Holy Spirit." This is reflected in the theme of the small band of churches, which is ""Free salvation for all people" and "Full salvation from all sin."
In terms of man's origins, the Association holds "the Biblical account of creation and all other supernatural acts of God recorded in the Scriptures are true" and an Arminian position that "man was created to be a free moral agent and remains so all the days of his life, with the God-given freedom to embrace or reject God throughout one's life in response to God's offer in prevenient grace."
The Association is strictly congregational, stating "we do not own the property of any local church; neither do we so desire." Ministers are screened and credentialed, but not appointed to charges or pastorates, and are subject to the vote of local congregations. Headquarters, camps, and missions are voluntarily supported by the association. There are no bishops, as a director and an elected board oversee the affairs of the connection of churches.
The AIM has affiliations with Wesley Biblical Seminary and Kentucky Mountain Bible College, and keeps fraternal relations with the Congregational Methodist Church, the National Association of Wesleyan Evangelicals and the Methodist Protestant Church, as well as the missionary-sending organization World Gospel Mission.
- Lewis, James R. (1998). The Encyclopedia of Cults, Sects, and New Religions. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-57392-222-6.
- What We Believe - Association of Independent Methodists
- Frequently Asked Questions - Association of Independent Methodists
- Our Mission Partnerships - Association of Independent Methodists
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