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United Methodist Free Churches was an English nonconformist community in the last half of the 19th century.

It was formed in 1857 by the amalgamation of the Wesleyan Association (which had in 1836 largely absorbed the Protestant Methodists of 1828) and the Wesleyan Reformers (dating from 1849, when a number of Wesleyan Methodist ministers were expelled on a charge of insubordination).

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Both churches operated in Missouri, many times side-by-side in the same town until 1939 when they were reunited. The goal was to compile a database of all persons who have preached in the state of Missouri for all branches of the United Methodist Church. After the year 2000, the General Commission on Archives and History asked all archives to "inventory" the materials in their collections.

Some conferences ban clergy from dating within the parish under any circumstances.

Other conferences discourage but allow the practice, with certain safeguards in place.

Many conference sexual ethics policies are simply silent about clergy dating. district superintendents, GCSRW learned that 29% believe “it is morally OK for a single pastor to date one of his/her parishioners.” It is clear that the persons receiving, investigating and, in many cases, resolving sexual misconduct complaints are not of one mind on this issue.

Clearly, a zero-tolerance policy does not reflect current attitudes of clergy and Cabinet members. The United Methodist Church must engage in a frank discussion about the morality of clergy dating within the parish.


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