First, a short history lesson: Free Methodism was founded back in 1860 under an apple tree in Pekin, New York, by a group of pastors of what was then the Methodist Episcopal Church. That church would later merge with other Methodist denominations to form the United Methodist Church. But back in 1860, there was concern on the part of some that the ME Church had drifted from its Biblical and Wesleyan roots (John Wesley was the founder of Methodism back in the 1720s). The church had become a place where–if you wanted a good seat–you actually had to pay to rent a pew! The church had also become very legalistic and ritualistic, stifling the free expression of worship. Then there was the issue of slavery. The ME Church allowed its members to own slaves.  So, a group of pastors, led by B.T. Roberts, attempted to change the ME Church from the inside out, trying to right the wrongs and return the church back to a more Biblical and compassionate stance. As a result, they were excommunicated from the church! So, these men and several other like-minded individuals met in Pekin, New York under that apple tree and formed the Free Methodist Church on August 23, 1860–dedicated to free pews, free worship, free men and women, and a freedom to live holy lives in obedience to the Bible.

Today, the Free Methodist Church has grown to almost 1 million members in virtually every country around the globe. Our mission is simple: to love God, love people, and make disciples. We are a missions-minded people, as evidenced by the fact that there are more Free Methodists in overseas countries than in the USA–thanks largely to the efforts of dedicated missionaries that spread the message of the Gospel. We are a compassionate people, getting involved in major humanitarian efforts to free slaves, sponsor hungry and orphaned children, provide for the sick, and feed and clothe those in poverty, as well as bring the message of hope and salvation through Jesus to all!

And in this current day and age of uncertainty, we stand rock-solid on the truths of the Bible. We are an evangelical denomination, holiness-minded and looking forward to Heaven while we work to bring the Gospel to the world.  We invite you to join with us and see what God is doing through the Free Methodist Church!

For more information on the Free Methodist denomination, check out these links

Who are the Free Methodists   

Free Methodist Church USA     

A Free Methodist Message – a great message from one of our pastors at our last national gathering         


Gearhartville Free Methodist Church

This is us, well, our older us.  This is our historical name because we were a Free Methodist church started in Gearhartville (just outside of Philipsburg) in 1891 – a very small, simple building then.  The church really grew in the 1920’s under the leadership of a lay pastor who brought revival and vision.  Over the years, many pastors have served at Gearhartville.  We have had great successes in serving the kids of the community, holding revivals and seeing people come to Jesus.  The church grew in people and physical size (numerous additions and a bell tower) as we pursued the mission on sharing Jesus to everyone.


gFree Church

Now to our funny name.  We are still Gearhartville FMC, but we now use the name gFree as a promotional name since the other is freakishly long.   We made this change in 2010 to help us reach further than our own neighborhood and impact the larger Moshannon Valley.  We do this by continuing great ministries to kids and teens, using modern worship music, relatable messages, and additions of many other ministries.  We grew so much that our old little building no longer was sufficient to hold us.  In 2019, we completed a new church building that is large and welcoming of all people no matter their situation in life.  While much has changed is the last 20 years, our heart for people and our drive for the mission of developing fully committed followers of Jesus has not changed.

It’s not about us. 

gFree Church is a church unlike any other in our community.  We dress casually, have a jammin’ band with drums, and will try anything short of sin to connect the disconnected and engage the unengaged in our community.  Our people are the Church, not the building or the space in which we gather.  We exist to reach people of all ages and family structures no matter their economic situation and help them live the abundant life God intends for them to live. 

To that end, we are designing a new facility to continue offering multiple worship services that meet the ever-changing work schedules in the 21st century and beyond.  Additionally, we are creating spaces for:

  • Private and group prayer;
  • Sports and physical fitness;
  • Retreats, luncheons, and dinners;
  • Small and large group Bible studies;
  • Expanding ministries to youth and children;
  • Meeting the spiritual and social needs in our community.
By these efforts, gFree Church will work to revitalize faith and restore hope in the Moshannon Valley.  Our goal is to be a church which builds disciples and plants churches in other communities to revitalize faith and restore hope in those communities.