First Methodist Societies Established
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Founder
Robert Strawbridge, Barbara Heck, and Philip Embury
Time Period
1763  - 1766
Description
Robert Strawbridge was a Methodist convert from Ireland, who traveled to Maryland in the early 1760s to begin work as an itinerant minister. In 1763, he established the first Methodist society at Sam Creek, Maryland. There, he is credited with baptizing the first Methodist convert in America (either John Evans or Henry Maynard, depending on source). Moreover, the first Methodist building is said to have been established there in 1764.

Strawbridge did not stop at Maryland, but continued establishing Methodist societies throughout the colonies, including Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. He organized the second Methodist society in Leesburg, Virginia in approximately 1765/1766.

It is also important to note that around 1766, Barbara Heck and Philip Embury also established a Methodist society in New York City. Thus, the first Methodist societies were all forming around the same time in the 1760s.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Methodist Religious Events and People in American History
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Methodist Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Methodist/Pietist Family: Other ARDA Links

Biographies
Webb, Thomas
Photographs

Strawbridge Church at Sam's Creek, MD- Hathi Trust- from Centenary Pictorial Album by George C. M. Roberts

Robert Strawbridge portrait- Hathi Trust- from Centenary Pictorial Album by George C. M. Roberts

Philip Embury portrait- Internet Archive- from Origin of 'Old John Street' New York, First Methodist Society in America by Lewis R. Streeter

Barbara Heck portrait- Hathi Trust- from Barbara Heck, A Tale of Early Methodism by W. H. Withrow

First Methodist Church, New York City- Internet Archive- from Origin of 'Old John Street' New York, First Methodist Society in America by Lewis R. Streeter
Book/Journal Source(s)
Bucke, Emory Stevens, 1964. The History of American Methodism. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press.
Matthews, Rex, 2007. Timetables of History for Students of Methodism. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press.
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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