(I come from a Nazarene background)
- The denomination was founded in 1908, in Pilot Point Texas.
- The denomination started through the merger of 15 small Holiness denominations.
- Nazarenes are Wesleyan Arminian in orientation
- The church has always permitted the ordination of women. In 1925, 12% of the ordained ministers were women. Currently the number is about 2%. source
- The church has always been racially integrated (whites and blacks).
- The church currently has 1.7 million members, 640,000 in the USA.
- The founder was Phineas F. Bresee. Bresee came from a Methodist background, and was active in the Los Angeles community.
- Some of the better known theogians include: H Orton Wiley, Mildred Bangs Wynkoop, and J Kenneth Grider
Challanges for Nazarenes (my opinions)
- Liberal trends: The belief in the infallibility of the Bible is under attack
- Slowed growth in the USA
- closing of churches in the USA (the small ones are being closed, while the big ones are getting bigger)
- Ministering to postmodern society
- Ministering to minorities, adjusting to changing racial demographics in our communities
- The encroach of Calvinistic concepts
- Decreased emphasis on Holiness
- There seems to less focus on world missions.
- "Silo" of the denomination, Nazarenes need to work more with other groups who have closely related theology (like Assembly of God, Wesleyan, Methodist, Free Methodist, Church of God, etc)