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Spain

In 1832 W.H. Rule launched a mission from Gibraltar, mainly through distribution of the Scriptures. A class meeting was formed in Cadiz, but the venture came to an end in the face of fierce opposition, in which his young son was murdered. Following the 'September Revolution' in 1868, a new opportunity was seized in Catalonia and the Balearics. Colporteurs were sent from Gibraltar and a lay missionary from England, W.T. Brown, opened a school and preaching places in Barcelona. After his ordination in 1879 he moved to the Balearic Islands. The work was taken up by Franklyn G. Smith, who spent 32 years (1884-1916) in the mission. Evangelical work elsewhere in Spain came under the MEC, but was seriously affected by the Civil War of 1936-39. In 1955 Methodists became part of the Spanish Evangelical Church which in 2002 reported a membership of 3,000 and a total community of 6,000.

Sources

  • G.G. Findlay and W.W. Holdsworth, The History of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society (1921-1924), vol. 4 pp.427-37
  • W. Peter Stephens, Methodism in Europe (1998)
  • Susan I Jackson, In the Shadow of a Mighty Rock: A history of the Gibraltar Methodist Church (2009), passim

Entry written by: SJP
Category: Place

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