The Holiness movement traces its origins to notions of perfectionism within Methodism, which emerged during the early 19th century. It is focused on the ‘second work of grace’ (or ‘second blessing’), which refers to a personal experience of regeneration, in which the believer is cleansed of original sin. It flourished amongst Methodists in the aftermath of the Civil War, and was spread through camp meetings, evangelists and missionaries until it permeated American belief. Following World War II, several groups left the more mainstream Wesleyan denominations to form conservative holiness movements, which stressed modesty in dress and revivalist worship. The Church of the Nazarene is an evangelical Christian denomination that emerged from the 19th-century Holiness movement in North America. Based in Lenexa, Kansas, it has merged with a series of other Holiness movements, and spread throughout the heartland of the US. At its official beginning as a national denomination in 1908 the Church of the Nazarene had a little over 200 churches and 10,500 members scattered across the US as well as missions outposts in Africa, Mexico, Asia. The Church of the Nazarene now includes congregations in more than 160 countries of the world. Today, the 30,000 Nazarene churches around the world have a total membership of more than 2.5 million.
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