Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A movement of rapid growth

The Primitive Methodist movement grew rapidly and spread across England, Wales, Scotland, and later to North America, Australia and New Zealand. They started in 1810 with just 10 formal members.

By 1820 there were a total of 7842 members as reported at the first annual conference held in Hull. The statistics for the annual conferences from 1820 to 1888 show a linear growth rate to nearly 200,000 members by that year, with very rapid growth in the early years of the movement 1820 - 1822. In 1820, membership more than doubled from 7,842 to 16,394. Membership increased rapidly until 1825-1827 when there was a decline because of difficulties with leadership issues in Edinburgh and elsewhere, with problems brought about by undisciplined preachers who jumped on the bandwagon and caused dissension. These problems were resolved by 1828, when growth resumed.

The chart shows the linear growth in membership from 1820 – 1888, based on the yearly statistics reported in the annual conference.

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