After the political changes of 1989/1990, many missionaries from Europe, the USA and Korea – a number of them with Methodist background – were sent to Romania. They preached the Gospel and established social serving ministries in order to provide particularly children, elderly people, and Roma with the assistance they urgently needed. As a result many independent churches came into being over the next years. Some of them even called themselves Methodist churches and were led by Romanians, Koreans or Africans who had studied in Romania and stayed there after the fall of Communism. There was some communication with the UMC in Central and Southern Europe, and the Bishop of this area even visited the Methodist churches in Romania twice, but since the pastors left the country or joined other denominations, these relations did not sustain and the work was discontinued almost everywhere.
The roots of the current United Methodist work in Romania go back to 1995, when an independent missionary from the USA with United Methodist background went to Cluj-Napoca, a university city in the northwestern part of Romania. Together with his family he lived seven years in this city but then purchased a small house in Micesti, a very poor nearby village. The missionary and his wife ministered to the people in many villages, setting up homegroups, distributing medicines and food, while bringing the good news by doing all this.
The Romanian leaders of the churches in Micesti and in Cluj kept in touch with the missionary and his family after they returned to the USA in 2006. It then became obvious that for sustainability and future growth the churches should look for a church home. Many conversations and visits followed. After prayerful consideration they decided in August 2011 to join the UMC. One month later the UMC in Romania was born - as part of Bulgaria-Romania Provisional Annual Conference.
The churches in Cluj and Micesti call themselves «Way of Faith UMC». Their aim is to see people have the experience of the new birth in Christ and to have personal relationship with God. The vision is to start a new home group in a different area, with the hope that some of them become new local churches. A first promising step has been done in Sibiu in early 2013.
The village ministry including diaconal activities and humanitarian aid is still a very important part of the work and provides many opportunities to preach the Gospel and to put love into action.