The history of Methodism in Southern California and Arizona, 1850-1939
Jervey, Edward Drewry
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This dissertation describes the historical development of Methodism in Southern California and Arizona from its foundation to 1939. It considers major developments, activities, and leadership, and it evaluates these, especially as they have had influence upon the Church; and it evaluates the relative strength and activity of the two branches of Methodism which were present in Southern California and Arizona previous to unification. The history is unfolded in six main divisions: The Methodist Episcopal Church in Southern California Through 1876; The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in Southern California through 1870; Tihe Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1870-1939; The Methodist Episcopal Church, 1876-1939; Methodism in Arizona; Unification. While both denominations labored in Southern California before the Civil War--the Methodist Episcopal Church beginning in 1853 and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, beginning in 1854--the work was spasmodic and was totally reorganized after the war. The Los Angeles Conference of the Southern Church was organized in 1870, and the Southern California Conference of the Northern Church was organized in 1876. Southern Methodism was numerically much weaker than Northern Methodism in Southern California, but its lay organization was considerably more developed. The major project of the Southern Cburch was Trinity Church in Los Angeles. This church was a pioneer in the development of the Epworth League, and two of its pastors became bishops of Southern Methodism. Lack of finances hindered the Southern Church in many fields of endeavor. The Homer Toberman Deaconess Home was its major institutional achievement. Only on the issue of modernism did Southern Methodism here find itself involved in disruptive controversy. Among the leaders of Southern Methodism from Southern California were Grover Emmons, founder of "The Upper Room," and Robert Shuler, one of Methodism's most controversial figures. Northern Methodism grew rapidly and expanded widely after its organization in Southern Galifornia in 1876. Six bishops and numerous educational leaders came from the Southern California conference. Its educational requirements for membership were early among the highest in all Methodism. It was a leader in finding a solution to the entangled pension problem, and it was a pioneer in the matter of minimum salary for the ministry. The founding and developing of the University of Southern California was another notable achievement of the Conference. The outreach of the Conference to other races and nationalities was outstanding. Especially significant were the Church of All Nations, Spanish American Institute, and Plaza Community Center. Nine other institutions, ministering to the sick, the retired, students, and orphans, were established. The Conference did not escape divisive controversies. The most notable of these were: (1) the war issue, leading to the dismissal of a District Superintendent; (2) sanctification, leading to the founding of the Church of the Nazarene. Both denominations entered Arizona in 1870, but work there never assumed the proportions that it did in Sou1thern California. Northern Methodism was the stronger of the two. Hospitals in Phoenix and Tucson were probably the best achievements of both denominations. Unification passed by majority vote in Southern California and Arizona in 1925, but some Southern Methodist opposition was quite noticeable. It passed again in 1938 with several Northern Methodists opposing it because of the proposed inclusion of the Central Jurisdiction. In conclusion, it is evident that the individual 272 Conferences, especially in Southern California,, made important contributions to their respective denominations. It is also apparent that Northern Methodism was considerably stronger than Southern Methodism, expanded further and more rapidly, furnished more leaders to the Church as a whole, and was able to undertake a wider institutional ministry.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University
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