Was There Division in the American Churches Prior to the Civil War?
There were numerous significant church splits prior to the Civil War:
- 1837 - Presbyterian Church split into Old School and New School
- The New School held to the conviction that man could come to Christ without the Holy Spirit and embraced revivalism techniques to get people to respond to the message of the Gospel
- The Old School members disagreed with the theological compromises in the New School and expelled the members holding to these erroneous views
- 1841 - Michigan Methodists (who were opposed to slavery) split away from the remaining Methodist denomination to form the Wesleyan Methodist Church
- 1844 - Methodist denomination split over whether clergy members could be slaveholders, with the new Southern Methodist Church formed
- 1845 - Baptist denomination split with the new Southern Baptist Convention formed after James Reeves (who was a slave owner) was refused a missionary position to the Cherokee Indians by the Baptist General Assembly