A hardcopy of the CWS bylaws can be downloaded here: CWS bylaws



The name of this Society shall be The Charles Wesley Society.


The purpose of this Society shall be to promote interest in the study, preservation, interpretation, and dissemination of the works of Charles Wesley (1707‑1788). It will work cooperatively with the General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church.


Section 1.  The membership of the Society shall include all who choose to support its purposes and pay the annual membership fee.

Section 2.  The membership year shall be the calendar year. Member­ship privileges will end April 1st of the following year for those who have not renewed.

Section 3.  The Society may make provisions for special categories of membership, such as student, senior, life, and honorary.

 Section 4.  Membership benefits shall include regular publications of the Society, such as an annual bibliography of C. Wesley, related publications or newsletter, attendance at Society meetings, participation in projects approved by the Society designed to study, preserve, interpret, and disseminate Charles Wesley’s works.


The Society may be organized into sections representing particular interests and needs. Each member may select one Section in which to participate.

Section 1.  Text. For those with primary interest in C. Wesley texts: poetry, journal, letters, sermons, essays.

Section 2.  Music and Text. For those interested in the relationship of musical settings to the C. Wesley poetical texts: historical con­text and development of tunes, composition of new musical settings, and texts and music in liturgy and worship.

Section 3.  History. For those primarily interested in the historical rela­tionship of the C. Wesley corpus, in particular eighteenth cen­tury history and biography, as well as the history of English literature.

 Section 4.  Theology. For those with primary interest in theology in hymns, as doxology, as celebration, the core of theological ideas reflected in Wesley’s hymns and poetry, and liturgy as theology.

Section 5.  The Community of Faith. For those with interests in spiritual formation, pastoral and parish concerns, faith and practice, ethnic and minority concerns, ministry of laity and clergy, liturgy, and preaching.

Section 6.  English Literature. For those with an interest in English literary history, Wesley’s place in the eighteenth century literary world, his literary style, his secular and religious verse as poetry, and his ongoing literary importance.

Other sections may be added as deemed necessary by the Board of Directors. Each section may select its own leadership and develop its own program.


Section 1.  The Society shall meet annually.

 Section 2.  Notice of all meetings shall be given at least six months in advance.

Section 3.  A quorum shall consist of the members present at a duly­-called meeting.


Section 1.  The Board of Directors shall include the elected officers and and six representatives elected by the membership of the Society.

Section 2.  The Board will meet at least annually and at the call of the President or three other Board members.

Section 3.  The Board has general supervision of the affairs of the Society and shall act on all matters for the Society, subject to previous actions of the membership and these bylaws. It will report its actions at meetings of the Society and be subject to direc­tion from the membership.

Section 4.  Among Other duties, the Board will:

  1. establish close ties with the General Commission on Ar­chives and History of the United Methodist Church, the World Methodist Historical Society, The Historical Society of the United Methodist Church, The Wesley Historical Society, The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music, Worship, and Other Arts, the Association of Anglican Musicians, the Anglican Historical Society, the Canadian Methodist Historical Society, and other ap­propriate denominational, ecumenical, and historical agencies /societies;
  2. develop programs and projects that will promote the pur­poses of the Society;
  3. select no more than one person each year as an honorary life member for outstanding contributions to Charles Wesley studies.


Section 1.  The officers of the Society will be elected for a four year term and will serve until their successors are elected. They shall function as officers of the Board of Directors. No person may serve more than one four year term in the same office, except by action of the Society.

 Section 2.  The officers will include a president, vice‑president, secretary, treasurer, and director of publications. They will assume the normal duties associated with these offices.

 Section 3.  A nominating committee of at least five persons, selected by the Board of Directors, shall present a slate of nominees at the last meeting of each respective term of service. Other persons may be nominated from the floor. The election shall be conducted at the will of the body.

Section 4.  Vacancies may be filled by the Board of Directors between meetings, and by election at the next Society meeting.


The headquarters of the Society shall be in the Archives and History Center of The United Methodist Church located on the campus of Drew Univer­sity in Madison, NJ.


Section 1.  The Board of Directors shall submit a balanced budget to the Society each year.

Section 2.  The Society shall be self‑supporting through membership fees and other sources, except for the space and services provided by the General Commission on Archives and History.


Section 1.  The Society may issue its own periodical publication.

Section 2.  The Society may cooperate with the General Commission on Archives and History in publication projects.

Section 3.  The Society will develop both computer and publication pro­jects for the dissemination of the C. Wesley texts and their interpretation.


No trustee, officer, or employer of or member of a committee of or per­son connected with the corporation, or any other private individual, shall receive at any time, any of the net earnings or pecuniary profit from the operations of the corporation, provided that this shall not prevent the pav­ment of any such reasonable compensation for services rendered to or for the corporation in effecting any of its purposes as shall be fixed by the Board of Directors; and no such person or persons shall be entitled to share in the distribution of any of the corporate assets upon the dissolu­tion of the corporation. Upon the dissolution or winding up of the affairs of the corporation, after all debts have been satisfied, the assets then re­maining in the hands of the Board of Directors shall be distributed in such amounts as the Board of Directors may determine or as may be determin­ed by a court of competent jurisdiction upon application of the Board of Directors, exclusively to charitable, religious, scientific, literary, or educational organizations which would then qualify under the provisions of Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and its Regulations as they now exist or as they may be amended.


The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Society in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and the policies and procedures adopted by the Society or Board.


These bylaws may be amended at any meeting of the Society provided that written notice of proposed amendments is given to all members at least three months in advance.

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