Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas
The Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas was inaugurated in 1967 at the Methodist Conference Centre, St John's, Antigua. Beginning with the witness and preaching of the speaker of the House of Assembly in Antigua in 1760, the work grew into a mission field of the Methodist Missionary Society of London. The first leader of the island's Methodists was appointed by the Baltimore Conference of 1784 as an elder. In 1786 several British ministers arrived, who were stationed in Antigua, St Kitts and St Vincent.
The conference comprises eight districts: Bahamas/Turks and Caicos Islands, Belize/Honduras, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Panama/Costa Rica and South Caribbean. The church therefore covers an area where English, French, Spanish, Dutch, French Creole, Papiamento and Guyami (the language of the Guyami Indians of Panama) are spoken. Close ties have been maintained with British Methodists through its World Church Office in London, and both churches have a continuing interest in partnership and mission. There are strong and active relationships with the United Methodist Church (USA) and the United Church of Canada. Over the years, links have been established with other autonomous Methodist Conferences such as Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Ghana and Southern Africa.
The church has always been involved in ecumenical activity and, as a founding member, continues to be an active participant in the Caribbean Conference of Churches. The MCCA has among its objectives the releasing of a new spiritual dynamic in the territories, increasing the witness and service of the church, and mobilizing its resources to work for development and Christian unity.