The United Methodist Church is part of a Wesleyan movement that now claims a total of 18 million members of various Methodist churches around the world. There are 8.5 million Methodists in the United States and one million members of the denomination outside of the United States.
The United Methodist Church is part of the Church Universal. All persons, regardless of race, color, national origin, status, or economic condition are welcome to attend its services, receive Holy Communion, and, after taking vows, be baptized and admitted into membership.
Denominational practices and standards are set by General Conferences that meet once every four years. Delegates to that conference are elected by clergy and lay representatives from local churches gathered in regional annual conferences.