Methodist Church of Chile
(Iglesia Metodista de Chile, IMC)
Methodism arrived in Chile through the efforts of a self-supporting missionary, and was followed by the arrival of other missionaries from the USA, the establishment of schools, and eventually evangelization in the Spanish language. The mission came under the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1893, when the South American Conference was organized with Chile as one of its districts. In 1901 the Chile district became an annual conference, and as of 1924 it was part of the Latin America central conference. The latter was allowed in 1932 to elect its own bishop. In 1969 the Methodist Church of Chile became autonomous, electing a bishop and adopting its own statutes and regulations. The church maintains relationships with the United Methodist Church (in the USA and in Switzerland), with the Methodist Church, UK, and with the United Church of Canada.
It was in the Methodist Church that the revival of 1909 occurred, which led to a split and the formation of the Methodist Pentecostal Church, and later on, other Pentecostal churches. The conflict was not only theological. The emergence of Chilean Pentecostalism was also an affirmation of an authentic, Chilean expression of non-Catholic Christianity, over against a foreign missionary model. The Methodist Church lost a large number of members but continued to evangelize and grow, albeit at a slower pace. Evangelization and the promotion of human dignity among the poor peasants and workers continue to be fundamental objectives. Today the church extends throughout the whole country. It is organized in seven districts. Educational, social and health ministries coordinate the extensive work that is being done in these areas, through 55 institutions run by the church.