John Wesley

Born: June 28, 1703, Epworth, Lincolnshire, England.
Died: March 2, 1791, London, England.

John Wesley  1703 - 1791


It was on Whit Sunday 1738, whilst Charles was recovering from an illness, that he had an experience of God which gave to him that assurance. A few days later on May 24th John was to know such an experience too, which he described in the now familiar words -

"I went very unwillingly to a Society in Aldersgate Street where one was reading about Luther's preface to The Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine whilst he was describing the change which God works in thew heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation, and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine."

The Growth of the Movement

A bolder John Wesley emerged, and, encouraged by the example of the evangelist George Whitfield, he began to preach out of doors to the very many people who never could or would find themselves in the Anglican Churches. Many an Anglican Church was subsequently closed to Wesley, and, more and more, he and his converts were forced to meet outdoors and then to build there own meeting places.

Wesley writes in his journal, "Saturday, 31 March, 1731. In the evening I reached Bristol, and met Mr. Whitefield there. I could scarce reconcile myself at first to this strange way of preaching in the fields, of which he set me an example on Sunday; having been all my life (till very lately) so tenacious of every point relating to decency and order, that I should have thought the saving of souls almost a sin, if it had not been done in a church." Such were the feelings of a man who in after life became one of the greatest open-air preachers that ever lived!

"I am well assured that I did far more good to my Lincolnshire parishioners by preaching three days on my father's tomb than I did by preaching three years in his pulpit."

"To this day field preaching is a cross to me, but I know my commission and see no other way of preaching the gospel to every creature".