May 16, 2006 by Joseph Krohn
Concern for education and social transformation naturally gave rise to a commitment to publishing. Books, magazines and pamphlets were produced in ever-greater numbers; even by 1884 the circulation of Methodist-backed publications stood at 160,000, excluding the materials produced for overseas missions. Under William Briggs and Lorne Pierce, Methodists became instrumental in promoting a Canadian literary tradition, producing vast quantities of Canadian fiction, poetry, history and textbooks for schools.
Since 1925 much smaller denominations such as the Wesleyan Church, the Free Methodist Church, the Standard Church, the Church of the Nazarene (extensions of American bodies), and The Salvation Army have endeavoured to maintain the spiritual tradition of Wesley. Collectively, however, these groups do not have the influence in public life that the Methodists exerted prior to church union.