Methodism assumed a distinctive shape in colonial South Australia where it became a confident, assertive and broadly-based religious movement. It was not homogeneous, for it contained three streams with different styles of worship and government: the Wesleyan Methodists, who formed their first society in 1837; the Primitive Methodists, founded in 1840; and the Bible Christians who were established in 1849. Alongside these were two small offshoots: the Methodist New Connexion, which formed a permanent congregation in Adelaide in 1862 and merged with the Bible Christians in 1888, and the United Methodist Free Church, 1878-84.1 The three Methodist denominations united to form the Methodist Church of South Australia on 1 January 1901.