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The Ties That Bind: The United Methodist Trust Clause

Featured The Ties That Bind: The United Methodist Trust Clause

UMC founder John Wesley sought to connect “the people called Methodist” in many ways: Love Feasts, small group meetings in societies, classes and bands, Covenant Services and a model deed to insure the continuation of these very Methodist practices in properly administered and duly designated places. 

This model deed, now commonly called the “Trust Clause,” many say is as critical to Methodist connective tissue as any of the historic features of our Church mentioned above. As a matter of fact, the model deed has been with the Methodist movement since the beginning.  

“Mr. Wesley’s Trust Clause: Methodism in the Vernacular” by Dr. John Topolewski was published in April, 1999 in Methodist History, the official historical journal of The General Commission on Archives and History.  It is considered by experts to be one of the definitive essays on the history, meaning and lasting impacts of the historic model deed and current Trust Clause (Para.2501).  In turn, this article helps to place the “Clause” in historical context for current understanding, well-grounded dialogue and critical discernment.