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Francis Asbury died 3/31/1816 at Spottsylvania, VA (south & west of Fredericksburg, VA).  He was born to Methodist parents at Hamstead Bridge, Staffordshire (suburb of Birmingham) England, 8/20/1745.  He began preaching at 16 (18?)  It seems it was his idea to which John Wesley concurred, for Asbury to be a missionary to America.  He arrived at Philadelphia 10/27/1771.  America was not to be the same.

He was appointed Wesley’s “general assistant in America” (1772).  Soon the position went to Thomas Rankin but when America revolted against England (“Revolutionary War”) Rankin left for England & Asbury stayed.  He with some help from Thomas Coke established Methodistism & it is said to have grown from 1200 to 214,000 members & 695 ordained preachers. He is with little doubt correctly called “Father of American Methodism.”  As is known, the Methodist church is the mother of the Holiness movement.

Asbury established Bethel Academy (1790) a Methodist school (first west of Alleghenies) about 3.5 from Wilmore, Kentucky. It was renamed Asbury College in 1891. John Wigger (American Saint) affirms that Asbury was “more recognized face-to-face than any other American of his day, including Thomas Jefferson & George Washington.”  He is believed to have preached more than16,000 sermons & traveled more than 270,000 miles for Christ.  He never married & (perhaps connected 🙂 ) his salary was $64 a year.

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