Our Story

Free Methodist Church Family

Harvest Chapel is part of a larger ministry family called the Free Methodist Church. The FMC is an evangelical Christian denomination with roots in the Wesleyan movement.  Harvest Chapel is part of the local regional conference — the Genesis Conference serving central and western New York and northern Pennsylvania area.

The Free Methodist Church is not the United Methodist Church. There is strength in the story – and our story is that the FMC was birthed out of a belief in and vision for freedom during a time (the 1860’s) when that had to be fought for. We’re still passionate about freedom. Being part of a larger ministry family means that there is accountability and structure that makes us stronger.

Why Free?

Historically, the Free Methodist Church was organized at Pekin, New York, August 23, 1860. The first bishop of the new church was Benjamin Titus (B.T.) Roberts. He was a champion for equal rights (especially for women), writer, publisher, Christian educator, and holiness preacher. The influence of his character and ministry continue today. In 1860, the “free” in Free Methodist emphasized certain basic freedoms found in the Scriptures:

  • Human freedom, upholding the right of every person to be free, denying the right of anyone to hold slaves;
  • Freedom and simplicity in worship;
  • Free seats in church, so the poor will not be kept out or discriminated against;
  • Freedom and openness in relationships and loyalties so the truth may always be spoken freely (avoiding vows of secrecy);
  • Freedom of lay persons to be fully involved at all levels of decision making;
  • Freedom from materialism in order to help the poor;
  • Freedom for women to be ordained.
The biblical principles on which these freedoms are based are as important today as ever.  

Why Methodist?

Motivated by love for God and people, we embrace the practices and disciplines of life that allow God’s grace to make us like Jesus.   We embrace spiritual disciplines that “train” us to love God and others. We walk together with others who encourage us and hold us accountable. We are intentional in “practicing” the ways of Jesus in serving, healing, and helping all who are in need. And we join with others to influence the world around us with God’s grace and power. We are “Methodists,” believing in a disciplined, simple lifestyle. Our witness to the world is through enthusiastic, orderly methods.
That is our story. Live your story in God’s BIG story!

Be a part of our story...

Join us every Sunday as we gather in person and  online to worship at 9:00am (in person only) and 10:30am (in person and online)