Birth of the Conference
As the Methodist societies grew at a fast rate, some way of keeping in touch and organising them was needed. John Wesley had held what became an annual conference of Methodist preachers.
In 1784 he made provision for the continuance as a corporate body after his death of the 'Yearly Conference of the People called Methodists'.
He nominated 100 people and declared them to be its members and laid down the method by which their successors were to be appointed.
After his death the leadership passed to the Methodist Conference, and instead of one person exercising leadership for a length of time, the president of the Conference was appointed for one year only. This is a tradition that continues.
Today the Methodist Church has a connexional structure rather than a congregational one. This is where the whole church acts and decides together. It is where the local church is never independent of the rest of the Connexion. Everyone who becomes a member through confirmation is a member of the Methodist Church as a whole, not just their local church.
The Methodist Church is part of the whole Church of Christ. It claims no superiority or inferiority to any other part of the Church. All those who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and accept the obligations to serve him in the life of the Church and the world are welcome as full members of the Methodist Church.