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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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The Young Preacher

The Young Preacher

(p.33) 2 The Young Preacher
American Saint Francis Asbury and the Methodists

John Wigger (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

At about age sixteen Asbury began to pray in public meetings and then to “exhort and preach.” He also joined a class meeting at West Bromwich and a band at Wednesbury. Classes and bands were Methodist small group meetings designed to encourage spiritual development. Classes were mandatory for all members, while bands were optional, intended for those most earnestly seeking sanctification. As a Methodist, Asbury embraced John Wesley’s teachings about the value of diligence and the danger of hoarding wealth. In 1766, at age twenty, Asbury apparently completed his apprenticeship and took the place of the traveling preacher assigned to the Staffordshire circuit. In August 1767 he officially joined Wesley’s connection of traveling preachers and was assigned to the Bedfordshire circuit. In 1771 Asbury volunteered to go to America, where Methodist societies had taken shape in New York, Philadelphia and Maryland.

Keywords:   apprenticeship, band, class meeting, connection, exhort, preach, pray, traveling preachers, sanctification, wealth

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