Methodist Federation for Social Action


Duration: 1907 - current (Africa solidarity work known in the 1970s and 1980s)
Location: Washington, DC, United States


The Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA), originally known as the Methodist Federation for Social Service, was founded in 1907 by several Methodist Episcopal clergy to direct church attention to the enormous human suffering among the working class. Immediately the Federation became Methodism's unofficial rallying point for the Social Gospel and achieved in 1908 the adoption of the first denominational social creed. In the 1970s and 1980s MFSA supported campaigns for divestment from companies doing business in apartheid South Africa and the campaign against banks making loans to South Africa. In 1977, MFSA worked to secure passage of the petition to the New York Conference of the United Methodist Church calling for the withdrawal of conference funds from banks making loans to apartheid South Africa. In 1986 MFSA led an intense struggle with the denominational pension board over economic sanctions against apartheid in South Africa; 38 people were arrested during non-violent MFSA protest at pension board offices. (Source: MFSA website accessed June 18, 2014; CALC REPORT, Clergy and Laity Concerned, Fall or late 1977 available on this website; and To mark the Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s Assassination March in His Spirit Against U.S. Investment in South Africa, American Committee on Africa, March 1986 available on this website.)