What is a Nazarene?
- General Description
- The Church of the Nazarene is an international denomination of nearly one million members, about half of whom live in the United States. The largest of the churches that originated out of the American holiness revival of the 19th century, it was organized in 1908 through the merger of three regional holiness bodies. It is Wesleyan in doctrine and related theologically to the Free Methodists, the Wesleyans, the Salvation Army, and traditionalist sectors of the United Methodist Church.
- The Church of the Nazarene is an orthodox Protestant body that adheres to the ecumenical creeds of the early Christian church. The theology of Methodist founder John Wesley (1703-91), who integrated the Protestant understanding of grace with the Catholic themes of holiness and love, is foundational for Nazarene doctrine. Nazarenes emphasize Christian conversion, sanctification or holiness, and the personal assurance of God’s grace – Discipleship is a prominent concern. The Church of the Nazarene recognizes two sacraments: Christian baptism and Holy Communion. Believers’ baptism and infant baptism are both allowed, though the former is most generally practiced.