Musical History of The United Methodist Church

The culture of any society, including the story of a social movement, is often captured by and spread by the art of the day.   Such was the case among Methodists in England and Colonial America.

Music was a vehicle that spread a story of hope widely across distances and deeply into very common places. Charles Wesley (John Wesley’s brother) wrote thousands of hymns for the common people, perhaps occasionally setting them to popular tunes of the day.

Christians around the world continue to sing Charles’ hymns. The first major collection of hymns was published in 1780. John edited these so that we have the very best in common use. The United Methodist Hymnal, last published in 1989, includes the following pieces written by Charles: 51 hymns, 8 poems, and  6 responsive readings

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