A chuckwagon is a type of "field kitchen" covered wagon used for the storage and transportation of perishable food and cooking equipment on the prairies of the United States and Canada. Such wagons formed part of a wagon train of settlers or fed traveling workers such as cowboys or loggers. In modern times, chuckwagons feature in certain cooking events. Chuckwagons are used in a type of horse racing known as chuckwagon racing. While some form of mobile kitchens had existed for generations, the invention of the chuckwagon is attributed to Charles Goodnight, a Texas rancher, the "father of the Texas Panhandle," who introduced the concept in 1866. After the American Civil War, the beef market in Texas expanded; some cattlemen herded cattle in parts of the country that did not have railroads which would mean they needed to be fed on the road for months at a time. Goodnight modified the Studebaker wagon, a durable army-surplus wagon, to suit the needs of cowboys driving cattle from Texas to sell in New Mexico.
He added a "chuck box" to the back of the wagon with drawers and shelves for storage space and a hinged lid to provide a flat cooking surface. A water barrel was attached to the wagon and canvas was hung underneath to carry firewood. A wagon box was used to store cowboys' personal items. Chuckwagon food included easy-to-preserve items like beans and salted meats and sourdough biscuits. Food would be gathered en route. There was no fresh fruit, vegetables, or eggs available and meat was not fresh unless an animal was injured during the run and therefore had to be killed; the meat they ate was greasy cloth-wrapped bacon, salt pork, beef dried, salted or smoked. The wagon was stocked with a water barrel and a sling to kindle wood to heat and cook food. On cattle drives, it was common for the "cookie" who ran the wagon to be second in authority only to the "trailboss." The cookie would act as cook, barber and banker. The term "chuck wagon" comes from "chuck", a slang term for food, not from the nickname for "Charles".
The American Chuckwagon Association is an organization dedicated to the preservation of the heritage of the chuckwagon. Its members participate in chuckwagon cook-offs throughout much of the US. Through these events, the members educate the public on the history and traditions surrounding the chuckwagon. At a chuckwagon cook off, each wagon is judged on the authenticity of the wagon. Wagons must be in sound drivable condition, with equipment and construction available in the late 1800s. Contents of the chuck-box, including utensils, must match what would have been used during the era. Wagons are judged on the attire of their cooks. A typical chuckwagon cookoff is composed of 5 food categories: Meat, Bread and potatoes. A team of judges evaluates the entries from each wagon. Once scores are tabulated, prizes are awarded to the top wagons. One of the most famous chuckwagon cook-offs is the Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium. Held annually for some two decades, this event attracts thousands to New Mexico.
Among the few chuckwagon cook-offs east of the Mississippi River takes place during SaddleUp! each February in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Held just outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park, SaddleUp! features a cowboy symphony and cowboy church services over a four-day period. The Academy of Western Artists presents an annual award for outstanding chuckwagon cooking as well as honors in other fields relating to the culture of the American cowboy. Chuckwagon racing is an event at some rodeos in Western Canada such as the Calgary Stampede. Chuckwagon races were held from 1952 until 1998 at Cheyenne Frontier Days, one of America's biggest rodeos. There are a few professional chuckwagon racing circuits that operate in North America with the premiere circuit being run by the World Professional Chuckwagon Association based in Calgary, the Western Chuckwagon Association out of Grande Prairie, AB, Canadian Professional Chuckwagon Association out of Saskatchewan. A yearly chuckwagon race event is still held in Arkansas.
So far the world's most successful Chuckwagon champion is Kelly Sutherland, who won the Calgary Stampede 12 times - the Wayne Gretzky of Chuckwagon racing. He inherited this tough pioneering spirit from his grandparents Helen and Seath Sutherland who homesteaded about fifteen miles southwest of Grande Prairie, Alberta, they raised 12 children there and Seath drove a team of horses to deliver coal to feed his family during the depression. This he did after mining a coal seam from the banks of the Wapiti river. Chuckwagons are raced around a figure eight barrel obstacle, the stove and tent poles within the wagon must not be lost; the racing team has from two to four "outriders" who load the stove and tent poles at the start and must finish the race with the chuckwagon. Many such races are held each year in towns. Chuckwagon racing is highlighted by animal welfare experts as dangerous to the horses, due to the unusually high risk of broken limbs and other bones. Horses die as a result and animal welfare charities are trying to raise awareness about the sport in this light.
In July 2011, a horse died in the chuckwagon race on the opening night of the Calgary Stampede. Tourists in the summers, can experience chuckwagon suppers, sometimes followed by live entertainment, at locations across the Western United States. Covered wagon Field kitchen American Chuckwagon Association Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium
A city council, town council, town board, or board of aldermen is the legislative body that governs a city, municipality, or local government area. Because of the differences in legislation between the states, the exact definition of a City Council varies. However, it is only those local government areas which have been granted city status that are entitled to refer to themselves as cities; the official title is "Corporation of the City of ______" or similar. Some of the urban areas of Australia are governed by a single entity, while others may be controlled by a multitude of much smaller city councils; some significant urban areas can be under the jurisdiction of otherwise rural local governments. Periodic re-alignments of boundaries attempt to rationalize these situations and adjust the deployment of assets and resources; the 2001 Local Government Act restyled the five county boroughs of Dublin, Galway and Limerick as city councils, with the same status in law as county councils. The 2014 Local Government Act Merged Limerick City and Limerick County Council together and Waterford City and Waterford County Council together abolishing Waterford and Limerick City council, While Limerick and Waterford maintain City Status.
The city councils and city halls in Malaysia are as follows. Alor Setar City Council Ipoh City Council Iskandar Puteri City Council Johor Bahru City Council Kota Kinabalu City Hall Kuala Lumpur City Hall Kuala Terengganu City Council Kuching North City Hall Kuching South City Council Melaka City Council Miri City Council Penang Island City Council Petaling Jaya City Council Shah Alam City Council Local councils in New Zealand do vary in structure, but are overseen by the government department Local Government New Zealand. For many decades until the local government reforms of 1989, a borough with more than 20,000 people could be proclaimed a city; the boundaries of councils tended to follow the edge of the built-up area, so little distinction was made between the urban area and the local government area. New Zealand's local government structural arrangements were reformed by the Local Government Commission in 1989 when 700 councils and special purpose bodies were amalgamated to create 87 new local authorities.
As a result, the term "city" began to take on two meanings. The word "city" came to be used in a less formal sense to describe major urban areas independent of local body boundaries; this informal usage is jealously guarded. Gisborne, for example, adamantly described itself as the first city in the world to see the new millennium. Gisborne is administered by a district council, but its status as a city is not disputed. Under the current law the minimum population for a new city is 50,000. In the Republic of China, a city council represents a provincial city. Members of the councils are elected through local elections for provincial cities which are held every 4–5 years. Councils for the provincial cities in Taiwan are Chiayi City Council, Hsinchu City Council, Keelung City Council. In the UK, not all cities have city councils, the status and functions of city councils vary. A city council may be: The council of a metropolitan district, granted city status; the council of a non-metropolitan district, granted city status.
Some of these councils are some share functions with county councils. A parish council, granted city status; these councils have limited functions. The council of a London borough, granted city status, or the City of London Corporation. A city council may be: One of the three councils of principal areas that have been granted city status. One of the three community councils, with limited functions, that have been granted city status. A city council is the council of one of four council areas designated a City by the Local Government etc. Act 1994; the three cities which are not council areas have no city council. Belfast City Council is now the only city council. Since the local government reforms of 2015 the other four cities form parts of wider districts and do not have their own councils. City councils and town boards consist of several elected aldermen or councillors. In the United States, members of city councils are called council member, council man, council woman, councilman, or councilwoman, while in Canada they are called councillor.
In some cities, the mayor is a voting member of the council. In larger cities the council may elect other executive positions as well, such as a council president and speaker; the council functions as a parliamentary or congressional style legislative body, proposing bills, holding votes, passing laws to help govern the city. The role of the mayor in the council varies depending on whether or not the city uses council–manager government or mayor–council government, by the nature of the statutory authority given to it by state law, city charter, or municipal ordinance. There is a mayor pro tem councilmember. In cities where the council elects the mayor for one year at a time, the mayor pro tem is in line to become the mayor in the next year. In cities where the mayor is elected by the city's voters, the mayor pro tem serves as acting mayor in the absence of the mayor; this position is known as vice mayor. In some cities a different name for the municipal legislature is used. In San
William Hood Simpson
General William Hood Simpson was a senior United States Army officer who served with distinction in both World War I and World War II. He is most notable, for being the Commanding General of the U. S. Ninth Army in Western Europe on the Western Front during the final stages of World War II. Simpson was born on May 1888, at Weatherford, Texas. In June 1905, a month after turning 17, he entered the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, graduated four years in June 1909, being commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Infantry Branch of the United States Army, his fellow graduates from the USMA included Jacob L. Devers, John C. H. Lee, Edwin F. Harding, George S. Patton, Delos Carleton Emmons, Thomas D. Milling and James Garesche Ord, all having distinguished careers and becoming general officers. Simpson's first assignment was with the 6th Infantry Regiment at North Dakota. Soon afterwards the regiment was sent overseas to the island of Mindanao in the Philippines in January 1910 and remained there for another two-and-a-half years, where Simpson participated in the Moro Rebellion.
He returned to the United States with his regiment in 1912 and, being stationed at Fort Bliss, remained there as a company commander until, now promoted to first lieutenant, he fought in the Pancho Villa Expedition in 1916. In February 1917 he became aide-de-camp to Major General George Bell, Jr. commanding the El Paso Military District. Simpson was promoted to captain in May 1917, a month after the American entry into World War I, moved with Major General Bell to activate the 33rd Infantry Division; the 33rd Division was sent to the Western Front in April 1918. As a temporary lieutenant colonel he was division chief of staff, was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal and the Silver Citation Star during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in late 1918. In the inter-war years, 1919–1941, Simpson filled staff appointments and attended military schools, both as student and as instructor. On Christmas Eve, 1921, he married Ruth Krakauer, an English-born widow whom he had first met while at West Point.
From 1932 to 1936, he served as the Professor of Military Science at Pomona College in Claremont, California. From April to September 1941 he was the first commander of the country's largest Infantry Replacement Training Center, Camp Wolters, located in Mineral Wells, Texas. In mid-1940, he was appointed to command the 9th Infantry Regiment at Texas. Before the U. S. entry into World War II, he had commanded divisions and served as the Assistant Division Commander of the 2nd Infantry Division. He received a promotion to temporary major general, taking the 35th Infantry Division, an Army National Guard formation, from Camp Robinson, Arkansas, to a training site in California, he relinquished command in May 1942 and assumed command of the 30th Infantry Division, another Army National Guard formation, until July. Further promotions followed, including command of XII Corps, the U. S. Second Army. In May 1944, now with the three-star rank of lieutenant general, Simpson took his staff to England to organize the U.
S. Ninth Army; this formation was activated as part of Lieutenant General Omar Bradley's U. S. 12th Army Group, on September 5 at France. Brest was liberated on September 20, 1944; the Ninth Army joined the Allied armies on the Western Front in the general advance and, after a month in the Ardennes forest the Ninth was moved further north. In November 1944 it broke through the Siegfried Line and advanced, in some of the heaviest fighting of the war, to the Roer River. At this point the advance stalled. During the crisis of the Battle of the Bulge in December Simpson's Ninth Army came under command of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery's Anglo-Canadian 21st Army Group. After the battle was over in early 1945 the Ninth Army remained with Montgomery's 21st Army Group for the final attack into Germany; as part of Operation Plunder, the River Rhine was crossed on March 24, 1945, north of the Ruhr industrial area and on April 19 the Ninth Army made contact with Lieutenant General Courtney Hodges' First United States Army, making a complete encirclement of the Ruhr.
On April 4, it had reverted to Bradley's 12th Army Group. The Ninth was the first American field army across the Elbe, on April 12, 1945; the Ninth Army continued its advance into Germany until the end of World War II in Europe on May 8, 1945, Victory in Europe Day. Simpson returned to the United States for a rest a month in June 1945. Dwight Eisenhower summarized his experience with Simpson as follows: "If Simpson made a mistake as an Army Commander, it never came to my attention... Alert and professionally capable, he was the type of leader that American soldiers deserve. In view of his brilliant service, it was unfortunate that shortly after the war ill-health forced his retirement before he was promoted to four-star grade, which he had so earned." He next undertook a mission to China in July and subsequently commanded the U. S. Second Army at Memphis, Tennessee, he retired from the army in November 1946 and on July 19, 1954, he was promoted to full general on the retired list by special Act of Congress.
After retirement, Simpson worked in the San Antonio, Texas area. In 1971, his wife Ruth died, soon thereafter, Simpson moved into the Menger Hotel in downtown San Antonio, where he was popular with the staff. In 1978, at the age of 90, he met Catherine Louise Berman, a retired civil-service worker from a military family, the two were married that same year. General William Hood Simpson died at the Menger Hotel on Friday, August 15, 1980, was buried alongside his wife
Parker County, Texas
Parker County is a county located in the U. S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 116,927; the county seat is Weatherford. The county was created in 1855 and organized the following year, it is named for Isaac Parker, a state legislator who introduced the bill that established the county in 1855. Parker County is included in TX Metropolitan Statistical Area. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 910 square miles, of which 903 square miles are land and 6.6 square miles are covered by water. The county is intersected by the Brazos River. Slipdown Mountain and Slipdown Bluff, at a height of 1,368 feet, are the highest points in Parker County, they are located just east of southwest of Poolville. I-20 I-30 US 180 US 377 FM 5 FM 51 FM 52 FM 113 SH 171 SH 199 SH 312 FM 920 Wise County Tarrant County Johnson County Hood County Palo Pinto County Jack County As of the census of 2003, 98,495 people, 31,131 households, 24,313 families resided in the county.
The population density was 98 people per square mile. The 34,084 housing units averaged 38 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 83.17% White, 1.79% African American, 0.67% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 12.61% from other races, 1.38% from two or more races. About 7% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race. Of the 31,131 households, 38.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.60% were married couples living together, 8.70% had a female householder with no husband present, 21.90% were not families. Around 18.30% of all households were made up of individuals, 7.10% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.11. As of the 2010 census, about 3.4 same-sex couples per 1,000 households were in the county. In the county, the population was distributed as 27.50% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 29.80% from 25 to 44, 24.20% from 45 to 64, 10.50% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 104.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.10 males. The median income for a household in the county was $45,497, for a family was $51,530. Males had a median income of $37,913 versus $25,412 for females; the per capita income for the county was $20,305. About 5.90% of families and 8.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.30% of those under age 18 and 9.60% of those age 65 or over. Azle Cresson Fort Worth Mineral Wells Reno Briar Horseshoe Bend Western Lake Parker County, like most suburban counties in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan Area, has been a Republican stronghold for decades. Republicans have held all public offices since 1999 and the county has not voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate since 1976. Orville Bullington and politician Oliver Loving, Loving-Goodnight Cattle Trail Bose Ikard, trusted cattle driver of Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight Mary Martin, star of stage and screen S.
W. T. Lanham, last Confederate governor of Texas Jim Wright, youngest mayor of Weatherford, TX, Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives Douglas Chandor, international portrait artist List of museums in North Texas National Register of Historic Places listings in Parker County, Texas Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks in Parker County Parker County government's website The Parker County Poor Farm Historic photos from the Weatherford College Library, hosted by the Portal to Texas History Parker County in Handbook of Texas Online
Baptists are Christians distinguished by baptizing professing believers only, doing so by complete immersion. Baptist churches generally subscribe to the tenets of soul competency/liberty, salvation through faith alone, scripture alone as the rule of faith and practice, the autonomy of the local congregation. Baptists recognize two ordinances: baptism and the Lord's supper. Diverse from their beginning, those identifying as Baptists today differ from one another in what they believe, how they worship, their attitudes toward other Christians, their understanding of what is important in Christian discipleship. Historians trace the earliest "Baptist" church to 1609 in Amsterdam, Dutch Republic with English Separatist John Smyth as its pastor. In accordance with his reading of the New Testament, he rejected baptism of infants and instituted baptism only of believing adults. Baptist practice spread to England, where the General Baptists considered Christ's atonement to extend to all people, while the Particular Baptists believed that it extended only to the elect.
Thomas Helwys formulated a distinctively Baptist request that the church and the state be kept separate in matters of law, so that individuals might have freedom of religion. Helwys died in prison as a consequence of the religious conflict with English dissenters under King James I. In 1638, Roger Williams established the first Baptist congregation in the North American colonies. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the First and Second Great Awakening increased church membership in the United States. Baptist missionaries have spread their faith to every continent. Baptist historian Bruce Gourley outlines four main views of Baptist origins: the modern scholarly consensus that the movement traces its origin to the 17th century via the English Separatists, the view that it was an outgrowth of Anabaptist traditions, the perpetuity view which assumes that the Baptist faith and practice has existed since the time of Christ, the successionist view, or "Baptist successionism", which argues that Baptist churches existed in an unbroken chain since the time of Christ.
Modern Baptist churches trace their history to the English Separatist movement in the 1600s, the century after the rise of the original Protestant denominations. This view of Baptist origins has the most historical support and is the most accepted. Adherents to this position consider the influence of Anabaptists upon early Baptists to be minimal, it was a time of considerable religious turmoil. Both individuals and churches were willing to give up their theological roots if they became convinced that a more biblical "truth" had been discovered. During the Protestant Reformation, the Church of England separated from the Roman Catholic Church. There were some Christians who were not content with the achievements of the mainstream Protestant Reformation. There were Christians who were disappointed that the Church of England had not made corrections of what some considered to be errors and abuses. Of those most critical of the Church's direction, some chose to stay and try to make constructive changes from within the Anglican Church.
They are described by Gourley as cousins of the English Separatists. Others decided they must leave the Church because of their dissatisfaction and became known as the Separatists. Historians trace the earliest Baptist church back to 1609 in Amsterdam, with John Smyth as its pastor. Three years earlier, while a Fellow of Christ's College, Cambridge, he had broken his ties with the Church of England. Reared in the Church of England, he became "Puritan, English Separatist, a Baptist Separatist," and ended his days working with the Mennonites, he began meeting in England with 60–70 English Separatists, in the face of "great danger." The persecution of religious nonconformists in England led Smyth to go into exile in Amsterdam with fellow Separatists from the congregation he had gathered in Lincolnshire, separate from the established church. Smyth and his lay supporter, Thomas Helwys, together with those they led, broke with the other English exiles because Smyth and Helwys were convinced they should be baptized as believers.
In 1609 Smyth first baptized himself and baptized the others. In 1609, while still there, Smyth wrote a tract titled "The Character of the Beast," or "The False Constitution of the Church." In it he expressed two propositions: first, infants are not to be baptized. Hence, his conviction was that a scriptural church should consist only of regenerate believers who have been baptized on a personal confession of faith, he rejected the Separatist movement's doctrine of infant baptism. Shortly thereafter, Smyth left the group, layman Thomas Helwys took over the leadership, leading the church back to England in 1611. Smyth became committed to believers' baptism as the only biblical baptism, he was convinced on the basis of his interpretation of Scripture that infants would not be damned should they die in infancy. Smyth, convinced that his self-baptism was invalid, applied with the Mennonites for membership, he died while waiting for membership, some of his followers became Mennonites. Thomas Helwys and others kept their Baptist commitments.
The modern Baptist denomination is an outgrowth of Smyth's movement. Baptists rejected the name Anabaptist. McBeth writes that as late as the 18th century, many Baptists referred to themselves as "the Christians commonly—though falsely—called Anabaptists."Another milestone in the early dev
A ZIP Code is a postal code used by the United States Postal Service in a system it introduced in 1963. The term ZIP is an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan; the basic format consists of five digits. An extended ZIP+4 code was introduced in 1983 which includes the five digits of the ZIP Code, followed by a hyphen and four additional digits that reference a more specific location; the term ZIP Code was registered as a servicemark by the U. S. Postal Service, but its registration has since expired; the early history and context of postal codes began with postal district/zone numbers. The United States Post Office Department implemented postal zones for numerous large cities in 1943. For example: The "16" was the number of the postal zone in the specific city. By the early 1960s, a more organized system was needed, non-mandatory five-digit ZIP Codes were introduced nationwide on July 1, 1963; the USPOD issued its Publication 59: Abbreviations for Use with ZIP Code on October 1, 1963, with the list of two-letter state abbreviations which are written with both letters capitalized.
An earlier list in June had proposed capitalized abbreviations ranging from two to five letters. According to Publication 59, the two-letter standard was "based on a maximum 23-position line, because this has been found to be the most universally acceptable line capacity basis for major addressing systems", which would be exceeded by a long city name combined with a multi-letter state abbreviation, such as "Sacramento, Calif." along with the ZIP Code. The abbreviations have remained unchanged, with the exception of Nebraska, changed from NB to NE in 1969 at the request of the Canadian postal administration, to avoid confusion with the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Robert Moon is considered the father of the ZIP Code; the post office only credits Moon with the first three digits of the ZIP Code, which describe the sectional center facility or "sec center." An SCF is a central mail processing facility with those three digits. The fourth and fifth digits, which give a more precise locale within the SCF, were proposed by Henry Bentley Hahn Sr.
The SCF sorts mail to all post offices with those first three digits in their ZIP Codes. The mail is sorted according to the final two digits of the ZIP Code and sent to the corresponding post offices in the early morning. Sectional centers do not deliver mail and are not open to the public, most of their employees work the night shift. Mail picked up at post offices is sent to their own SCF in the afternoon, where the mail is sorted overnight. In the case of large cities, the last two digits coincide with the older postal zone number thus: In 1967, these became mandatory for second- and third-class bulk mailers, the system was soon adopted generally; the United States Post Office used a cartoon character, which it called Mr. ZIP, to promote the use of the ZIP Code, he was depicted with a legend such as "USE ZIP CODE" in the selvage of panes of postage stamps or on the covers of booklet panes of stamps. In 1971 Elmira Star-Gazette reporter Dick Baumbach found out the White House was not using a ZIP Code on its envelopes.
Herb Klein, special assistant to President Nixon, responded by saying the next printing of envelopes would include the ZIP Code. In 1983, the U. S. Postal Service introduced an expanded ZIP Code system that it called ZIP+4 called "plus-four codes", "add-on codes", or "add-ons". A ZIP+4 Code uses the basic five-digit code plus four additional digits to identify a geographic segment within the five-digit delivery area, such as a city block, a group of apartments, an individual high-volume receiver of mail, a post office box, or any other unit that could use an extra identifier to aid in efficient mail sorting and delivery. However, initial attempts to promote universal use of the new format met with public resistance and today the plus-four code is not required. In general, mail is read by a multiline optical character reader that instantly determines the correct ZIP+4 Code from the address—along with the more specific delivery point—and sprays an Intelligent Mail barcode on the face of the mail piece that corresponds to 11 digits—nine for the ZIP+4 Code and two for the delivery point.
For Post Office Boxes, the general rule is. The add-on code is one of the following: the last four digits of the box number, zero plus the last three digits of the box number, or, if the box number consists of fewer than four digits, enough zeros are attached to the front of the box number to produce a four-digit number. However, there is no uniform rule, so the ZIP+4 Code must be looked up individually for each box; the ZIP Code is translated into an Intelligent Mail barcode, printed on the mailpiece to make it easier for automated machines to sort. A barcode can be printed by the sender, it is better to let the post office put one on. In general, the post office uses OCR technology, though in some cases a human might have to read and enter the address. Customers who send bulk mail can get a discount on postage if they have printed the barcode themselves and have presorted the mai
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a mainline Protestant denomination and a major part of Methodism. In the 19th century, its main predecessor, the Methodist Episcopal Church, was a leader in evangelicalism; the present denomination was founded in 1968 in Dallas, Texas, by union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church. The UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley in England, as well as the Great Awakening in the United States; as such, the church's theological orientation is decidedly Wesleyan. It embraces both evangelical elements; the United Methodist Church has a connectional polity, a typical feature of a number of Methodist denominations. It is organized into conferences; the highest level is called the General Conference and is the only organization which may speak for the UMC. The church is a member of the World Council of Churches, the World Methodist Council, other religious associations. With at least 12 million members as of 2014, the UMC is the largest denomination within the wider Methodist movement of 80 million people across the world.
In the United States, the UMC ranks as the largest mainline Protestant denomination, the largest Protestant church after the Southern Baptist Convention, the third largest Christian denomination. In 2014, its worldwide membership was distributed as follows: 7 million in the United States, 4.4 million in Africa and Europe. In 2015, Pew Research estimated that 3.6 percent of the US population, or 9 million adult adherents, self-identify with the United Methodist Church revealing a much larger number of adherents than registered membership. The movement, which would become the United Methodist Church, began in the mid-18th century within the Church of England. A small group of students, including John Wesley, Charles Wesley and George Whitefield, met at Oxford University, they living a holy life. Other students mocked them, saying they were the "Holy Club" and "the Methodists", being methodical and exceptionally detailed in their Bible study and disciplined lifestyle; the so-called Methodists started individual societies or classes for members of the Church of England who wanted to live a more religious life.
In 1735, John and Charles Wesley went to America, hoping to teach the gospel to the American Indians in the colony of Georgia. Instead, John became vicar of the church in Savannah, his preaching was legalistic and full of harsh rules, the congregation rejected him. After two years in America, he returned to England dejected and confused. On his journey to America, he had been impressed with the faith of the German Moravians on board, when he returned to England he spent time with a German Moravian, passing through England, Peter Böhler. Peter believed a person is saved through the grace of God and not by works, John had many conversations with Peter about this topic. On May 25, 1738, after listening to a reading of Martin Luther's preface to Romans, John came to the understanding that his good works could not save him and he could rest in God's grace for salvation. For the first time in his life, he felt the assurance of salvation. In less than two years, the "Holy Club" disbanded. John Wesley met with a group of clergy.
He said "they appeared to be of one heart, as well as of one judgment, resolved to be Bible-Christians at all events. The ministers retained their membership in the Church of England. Though not always emphasized or appreciated in the Anglican churches of their day, their teaching emphasized salvation by God's grace, acquired through faith in Christ. Three teachings they saw as the foundation of Christian faith were: People are all by nature dead in sin and children of wrath, they are justified by faith alone. Faith produces outward holiness; these clergy became popular, attracting large congregations. The nickname students had used against the Wesleys was revived; the English preacher Francis Asbury arrived in America in 1771. He became a "circuit rider", taking the gospel to the furthest reaches of the new frontier as he had done as a preacher in England; the first official organization in the United States occurred in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1784, with the formation of the Methodist Episcopal Church at the Christmas Conference with Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke as the leaders.
Though John Wesley wanted the Methodists to stay within the Church of England, the American Revolution decisively separated the Methodists in the American colonies from the life and sacraments of the Anglican Church. In 1784, after unsuccessful attempts to have the Church of England send a bishop to start a new church in the colonies, Wesley decisively appointed fellow priest Thomas Coke as superintendent to organize a separate Methodist Society. Together with Coke, Wesley sent a revision of the Anglican Prayerbook and the Articles of Religion which were received and adopted by the Baltimore Christmas Conference of 1784 establishing the Methodist Episcopal Church; the conference was held at the Lovely Lane Methodist Church, considered the Mother Church of American Methodism. The new church grew in the young country as it employed circuit riders, many of whom were laymen, to travel the rural nation by horseback to preach the Gospel and to establish churches until there was scarcely any village in the United States without a Methodist presence.
With 4,000 circuit riders by 1844, the Methodist Episcopal Church became the largest Protestant denomination in the