Francis Asbury

From Academic Kids

Template:Methodism Francis Asbury (1745-1816) was born at Handsworth, near Birmingham, England of Methodist parents. He became a local preacher at 18 and was ordained at 22. In 1771 he volunteered to travel to America. When the American War of Independence broke out in 1776 he was the only Methodist minister to remain in America.

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Francis Asbury statue, Wilmore, Kentucky

In 1784 John Wesley named Asbury and Thomas Coke as co-superintendents of the work in America. This marks the beginning of the "Methodist Episcopal Church of the USA". For the next 32 years, Asbury led all the Methodists in America.

Like Wesley, Asbury preached in all sorts of places: courthouses, public houses, tobacco houses, fields, public squares, wherever a crowd assembled to hear him. For the remainder of his life he rode an average of 6000 miles each year, preaching virtually every day and conducting meetings and conferences. Under his direction the church grew from 1,200 to 214,000 members and 700 ordained preachers.

Asbury kept a journal assiduously; on December 8 1812 he crossed the Broad River into York County, South Carolina and came to the home of David Leech, Esq. He states in his journal that Leech offered him a Bible and a bottle of brandy; he wrote, "I took one." Years before Asbury had complained in his diary of a German Lutheran man named (Jacob) Bookter in upper Richland County, South Carolina, who charged him too much for a night's lodging for himself and his horse. The incident so inflamed Asbury that he was said to have converted a good number of Lutherans in a fiery sermon the next day.

There are two schools named after Asbury, both located in Wilmore, Kentucky: Asbury College and Asbury Theological Seminary. DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana was originally known as Indiana Asbury College after him.

Asbury's boyhood home, Bishop Asbury Cottage, in Sandwell, England, is now a museum.

Resources

  • Francis Asbury (http://www.francisasbury.org/)This website includes the A-Z index of places and people mentioned in Francis Asbury's Journals.
  • Journal and Letters of Francis Asbury (1958) by Francis Asbury (ISBN 0687205816)
  • America's Bishop: The Life of Francis Asbury (2003) by Darius Salter (ISBN 1928915396)
  • The Story of American Methodism: A History of the United Methodists and Their Relations (1974) by Frederick Abbott Norwood (ISBN 0687396417)
  • The Heritage of American Methodism (1999) by Kenneth Cain Kinghorn (ISBN 0687055008)
  • From Wesley to Asbury: Studies in Early American Methodism (1976) by Frank Baker (ISBN 0822303590)
  • Eliza Asbury - her cottage and her son by David Hallam (ISBN 185858235)

See also

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