When people realize that Crosswinds Church is part of a denomination, The Wesleyan Church, there is usually a question that follows. What is a Wesleyan? This is a good question that I will try to answer as accurately and briefly as possible.
The Wesleyan Church is an orthodox, protestant denomination from the evangelical tradition. It is organized for worldwide outreach. Wesleyans believe that faith in Jesus Christ brings one into an eternal life-giving relationship with God. This life lived by the power of His Spirit empowers us for witness and assurance of life eternal in paradise with our Savior. Life in Christ gives us strength for today and hope into the never-ending future.
Our name is in honor of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, whose emphasis on knowing God and making Him known, growing in ever-increasing Christlikeness, is our example. There are currently around four thousand Wesleyan churches in over forty nations worldwide. The Wesleyan Church can be traced back to a split with the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1843 over the issue of slavery. Wesleyans united around abolishing slavery. The leaders of what later became The Wesleyan Church saw a need to spread scriptural holiness over the land and secure justice for all people. In addition to social causes like slavery, Wesleyans emphasize a deepening experience with God.
In keeping with our heritage, The Wesleyan Church today emphasizes applying the Christian experience to social issues. Discrimination and prejudice are key topics of concern, whether applied to race, gender, age, or other areas of life. The foundation for our concern in this area is Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Wesleyans have been at the forefront of the egalitarian debate, insisting that women are fully equal with men with regard to their position and function in the church.
Wesleyans believe in one God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the Savior of all men and women who put their faith in Him alone for eternal life. We believe that those who receive new life in Christ are called to be holy (Christlike) in character, love, purpose, and priorities. We can only live this way by being filled with the Lord’s Spirit. We believe in the Bible and seek to establish our faith and actions on its teachings. We believe God wills for people everywhere to know Him and that the purpose of the church is to make Him known through sharing Christ’s love and message with others.
Wesleyans believe our faith applies to every area of our lives and communities. Our call to Christlikeness (holiness), knowing God and making Him known bound all Wesleyans together as a diverse family of multiple nationalities, races, languages, and cultures. The Wesleyan Church continues to be a catalyst for individual and social transformation.
Much more could be written about The Wesleyan Church’s history, beliefs, and vision. However, I believe this gives us an honest and straightforward glimpse of where we have come from and who we are today. Wesleyans are followers of Christ, being changed by Him, and committed to living on mission with Him. Soli Doe Gloria (Glory to God Alone)!