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American Saint Francis Asbury and the Methodists$
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John Wigger

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195387803

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195387803.001.0001

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“Feel for the power”

“Feel for the power”

(p.279) 17 “Feel for the power”
American Saint Francis Asbury and the Methodists

John Wigger (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

If 1799 ended dismally for Asbury, 1800 offered a new beginning, with unexpected revivals and the election of a new bishop. Keeping the circuits supplied with preachers remained Asbury’s chief challenge. Contrary to opinion, the preachers did not blindly follow his appointments. Asbury had to carefully recruit George Dougherty to take the Charleston station in 1800. Asbury tried to take local opinions into consideration, as with John Page’s appointment to Tennessee’s Cumberland circuit in 1800. For all of his powers of persuasion, Asbury was generally a poor preacher, though his sermons were similar in content to those of other Methodist preachers, as William Ormond’s journal demonstrates. Richard Whatcoat was elected a bishop by the 1800 General Conference. The conference also issued an antislavery address that led to a violent backlash across the South, particularly in Charleston, where Dougherty was nearly drowned by a mob.

Keywords:   antislavery, bishop, circuit, Cumberland, George Dougherty, William Ormond, John Page, preacher, revivals, sermons

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