Beliefs & History

As a United Methodist Church:

Experience God as love, acceptance, forgiveness and accountability.


Brothers John and Charles Wesley grew up in England during the early stages of the Industrial Revolution.  Both were ordained as Anglican clergy.

While at Oxford University, their small Bible study group was called “Methodists” by others because of their methodical schedule of prayer, fasting, and discussion.

John came to believe that God’s saving grace comes from a personal relationship with God, rooted in Scriptures, and was made absolute when Jesus died for the sins of humankind.

In May 1738, John’s heart was “strangely warmed” in what became known as the Aldersgate Experience.  It was an experience that helped Wesley recognize and embrace the need for a personal relationship with God and Jesus.

Methodism spread quickly in America, as circuit rider preachers traveled from town to town.

Social distinctions had no place in Methodist doctrine as it was preached in America.  Every life had meaning.

Wesley talked about God’s grace in three movements:

  1. Prevenient grace – the grace that comes before;
  2. Justifying grace – God reaches out to the repentant believer with accepting and pardoning love, and the assurance of forgiveness;
  3. Sanctifying grace – God helps us grow in the knowledge and love of God.

Faithful lives are shaped by:

  • Acts of Devotion
  • Acts of Worship
  • Acts of Compassion
  • Acts of Justice

Today the United Methodist Church encourages a personal devotion, connected to social action through compassion and justice.  It is a methodical means of working for the kingdom of Jesus Christ.

John Wesley proposed a method by which people can grow in their Christian discipleship. The four areas are:

  1. Scripture
  2. Tradition
  3. Reason
  4. Experience

Today the method is often referred to as the Wesleyan Quadrilateral.

Wesley encouraged others to read the Bible for the single purpose of learning the will of God.

Tradition includes both the common history shared by Christians and the various traditions practiced by Christians around the world.

Wesley’s emphasis on reason made him a strong proponent of education for all.

Wesley believed in a living and breathing church made up of committed believers.

Wesley longed for all believers to have a first-hand experience of God.  He believed that the presence of God is experienced by the believer in two ways: an inward and outward experience.


A sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.

United Methodists believe that grace is available to all and can be sought through many avenues.

Baptism and Holy Communion

Through the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion we open ourselves to God.

Methodist doctrine believes Communion to be a “sign-act.”  This means that when you take Communion, it is an outward sign of God’s grace but it is also an act where we inwardly receive this grace.

Baptism is a gift from God that can never be taken away.


United Methodism uses the approach of “connectionalism” to balance the importance of individual action in the local church with a focus on the bigger picture.

The United Methodist Church is continually learning and changing as we seek to become complete in God’s love.

United Methodists are inclusive in our attitudes, because we believe that Jesus died for all people.

Click here for more information about the United Methodist Church and our beliefs.

Immanuel United Methodist Church History

Three years after Minnesota became a state, Maple Grove Immanuel Evangelical Church began in 1861 with 18 members officially becoming a church.  Even years before, circuit riders held camp meetings and services in homes in our area.  The life of a circuit rider preacher was difficult and dangerous, riding horseback through mud, swollen streams, heavy woodlands and wetlands.  In 1857, 20-year-old August Huelster, a circuit-riding preacher arrived in the Maple Grove area.  His circuit was 400 miles.  The first year he traveled over 3000 miles and preached two hundred times. He began the ministry of Immanuel when he baptized 4 children in 1859 and preached to about 30 adults.  Candidates for the ministry were quite often asked three questions:  “Have you had a conversion experience?  Can you preach?  Do you have a horse?”

A log church was built in Maple Grove in 1864.  Records from Immanuel’s annual meetings began to be kept around 1892.  From those records we can see that early church life was different from church life today.  The services were all in German until 1922.  For many years it was voted that every member family would deliver 2 loads of wood to the parsonage at the beginning of the winter.

In 1946, the Evangelical Church denomination merged with the United Brethrens to become Evangelical United Brethren.  Then in 1968, the Evangelical United Brethrens joined with the Methodists to become United Methodist, so Immanuel Church’s name is Immanuel United Methodist Church.  Some moral issues that all three churches had were a strict observance of the Sabbath, opposition of slavery and warning of the dangers of intoxicating beverages.  From the beginning our church was strong in having a personal faith in Christ as well as being socially involved, especially having a concern for the poor and needy in our world.

Through the years the church has grown and new churches built.  The latest addition was a new sanctuary in 1980 and in 2004 the addition of classrooms and offices.  In 2011, Immanuel celebrated 150 years of ministry.  This ministry continues, giving praise and thanks to our past faithful members and looking forward to a future with hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.