Frequently Asked Questions
Horse farms of the Bluegrass
Before we go too far here, a lot of questions about the Free Methodist church and denomination can be answered by clicking here. Beyond the denominational web site, we’ll list some quick answers below to common questions.
So…what is a “Free Methodist?” Here’s a pretty good explanation.
What isn’t mentioned above is that the Free Methodist Church is a global denomination with far more than a million members, and organized structures and ministry in 82 nations. Wikipedia actually gives a pretty good overview of all that.
What are Free Methodist churches like? Really, they vary quite a bit. Some are large, but most are small – less than 100, especially in the New South Conference. Worship style varies too – some are more highly liturgical, others are very casual. Music ranges from hymns to the most rockin’ of contemporary choruses. In all of them, however, you will find a faithful proclamation of the Bible, revered as God’s holy Word.
What do Free Methodist’s believe? The short answer is, classic, orthodox Christian faith in the Wesleyan/Arminian tradition. We would be similar in theology to, say the Wesleyan Church, the Nazarene Church, the Evangelical Church of North America and other denominations of the Wesleyan/holiness tradition. Again, check out our Articles of Religion for a full explanation.
How are Free Methodist churches structured? Pastors of FM churches are not members of the local church, but instead are members of the Annual Conference and are appointed to local churches by the will of the area Bishop, while local churches are governed by an elected Board of Administration. So local church leadership is shared by an appointed pastor and elected laity.
Who are the leaders of the denomination? Click here to meet our Bishops and Superintendents…and here to see the leadership of our Global church.
Who are the leaders of the New South Conference? All FM Conferences are led by a superintendent. Beyond that, there is quite a bit of variety to our structures. Most would have an administrator, a treasurer, and a trustee – all with teams of volunteers helping in each of these areas. New South also enjoys the ministry of District Leaders – stationed pastors who help care for pastors and people in their geographical area. All conferences also have a Board of Administration that meets throughout the year to do conference business…all of these are elected positions.
Ultimately, the annual gathering of the conference, led by the area bishop, is the decision-making body.
Presently, New South is in a merger process with the Wabash Conference (FM churches in Indiana.) John Lane serves as superintendent. Daryl Diddle (also pastor of the Wilmore FMC – KY) is assiting him for the New South region.
Our District Leaders include Scott Clark – Bowling Green, Mark Driskill – Eastern KY, Charlie Shoemaker – Nashville, and Daryl Diddle – Lexington areas.
What’s involved in ordination? More than can be addressed here, so check out the FM Department of Credentialing, or contact the superintendent or conference administrator. There is also some ordination information on the Resources page. If you think you may be called to ordained, vocational ministry, we’d love to speak with you.
What if I, or my church, want to affiliate with the FMC? Download this information packet first, then contact either Superintendent John Lane or Assistant Superintendent Daryl Diddle. Additionally, our denominational headquarters have set up this web site for just this question.