I was just curious if there are any significant doctrinal differences between the two Methodist sects. My mother used to belong to the Free Methodists before our family converted to Mormonism in 1997, and I've always wondered about it. I've learned quite a bit from her regarding the FM, but she has no clue about similarities or differences.
And on a related note, at what point did they split and what was the cause?
From what little I know about it, their doctrines are pretty much the same.
The split came in the early 1900's because originally, you had to "buy" your seat in the UM church...yes, in support of the pastoral staff, you had to pay money in order to sit in the church, otherwise you stood up during the service.
That is why "we" are called "Free" Methodists...because some pastors got together and said this isn't right to charge people to sit down in a chair, so they began the FM church where everyone could sit down free of charge.