Stilwellites, a name given to the adherents of Mr. Stilwell, who seceded from the Methodist Episcopal Church in New York city. They established congregations called for a time Independent Methodists. Mr. Stilwell had for several years been dissatisfied with the Church economy, and had evidently been preparing for a change, and expected to take with him the property of the Church. In 1820 the New York Conference passed resolutions looking to the better security of church property and asking for suitable legislation. Mr. Stilwell used this measure to excite a prejudice in the minds of people, and, under the plea that the ministers were endeavoring to control the Church property, succeeded in inducing about three hundred members to secede, After a few years, his congregation became strictly Congregational. A few who seceded joined the Reform movement when it arose, and afterwards identified themselves with the Methodist Protestant Church. He succeeded in inducing a colored Church, with a congregation of about one thousand, to withdraw from the Methodist Episcopal Church. This congregation afterwards formed the African Zion Methodist Episcopal Church. The churches of Mr. Stilwell gradually declined, and all traces of such an associated movement have long since passed away. See Simpson, Cyclop. of Methodism, s.v.

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