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Native Americans and United Methodism Course

Rev. Karen Wheat will offer a course on Native Americans and United Methodism.

Mondays in October (2, 9, 16, 23, 30)
5:00 – 7:00 pm
Milwood UMC (3919 Portage Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49001)

A look at Native American spirituality and history, especially as it relates to The United Methodist Church. We’ll explore creation stories, how Native Americans were treated by Methodists, and work to understand the roles of Native Americans in the formation of the country and the church. This course will strive to answer why recognition and land acknowledgment remains important today and what can be done for the future.

The book First White Frost: Native Americans and United Methodism by Homer Noley may be purchased through online used book retailers.

This course is open to anyone interested. It has been approved for advanced Lay Servant course credit. 

Register by Monday, September 25.




Session 1 – Explore the various ideas concerning the origin of Native American Peoples in North and South America

  1. Various theories
  2. Various Indigenous Civilizations
  3. First encounters with European and Christianity

Session 2 – Explore the Position of the Church toward Native Americans

  1. Columbus and 15th Century encounters
  2. French, Spanish, Portuguese, and English encounters in 16th Century
  3. English and French in the 17th Century
  4. John Wesley in the 18th Century

Session 3 – First intentional mission to Native Americans

  1. French/Father Marquette
  2. Methodist/John Wesley and early missions to Native Americans by Methodists
  3. The Trail of Tears and the Trail of Death
  4. Treatment of Native Americans by the Methodist Church
  5. Famous Native American Preachers
  6. Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference beginning and today

Session 4 – Field trip to Bradley/Salem Mission

Session 5 – Things we need to do to support United Methodist and all Native Americans

  1. Why there is still need for support
  2. Why land acknowledgement is so important
  3. What can an individual or a local church do
Greater Southwest District