1. In the Methodist Episcopal Church, a "supernumerary preacher is one who, because of impaired health, is temporarily unable to perform effective work. He may receive an appointment or be left without one, according to the judgment of the Annual Conference of which he is a member; but he shall have no claim upon the beneficiary funds of the Church except by vote of the Conference, and he shall be subject to all the limitations of the Discipline in respect to reappointment and continuance in the same charge that apply to effective preachers. In case he be left without an appointment, he shall have a seat in the Quarterly Conference, and all the privileges of membership in the place where he may reside (Discipline, 18:1). Ii 1800, on motion of Dr. Coke, supernumerary preachers, their widows and orphans, were to have the same support, which was then accorded to effective preachers. The funds of the Conferences increasing, as well as the advantages of membership multiplying, great difficulties arose, and in 1860 the General Conference abolished the relation so far as the Annual Conferences were concerned. In 1864 the relation was restored with the definition at- present given, with the provision that no supernumerary preacher shall have a claim upon the beneficiary funds of the Church without a vote of the Annual Conference. In 1876 the number of supernumerary preachers was reported at 701.
2. Among the English Wesleyans, in order to: secure the relation of supernumerary the consent must be obtained of the May District Meeting. They receive a maintenance according to the number: of years they have been in the active work. This is derived from the Annuitant Society, which is in reality their own life-assurance fund, and provides, to a certain extent, for the support and education of their children. Upon entering into business they are reckoned as local preachers, after four years as superannuated, and if members of the legal hundred, are superseded. They are under the supervision of the District Meeting: and if their names are on the minutes, they are members of the Quarterly, Local Preachers, and District Meetings. See Simpson, Cyclop. of Methodism, s.v.