Wesley, John 
Search Timelines:

Time Period
6/28/1703  - 3/2/1791
Description
John Wesley was educated at Oxford (B.A., 1724; M.A., 1727) and ordained in 1728. In 1729, he joined and later became a leader of his brother Charles’s Holy Club, a group of young men interested in spiritual matters. They became known as the Methodists because of their "methodical" pursuit of holiness.

In 1738, he experienced an evangelical conversion, in which his "heart was strangely warmed." This experience led him to the belief of salvation through Jesus Christ alone, available to anyone who asked, which became a large emphasis for Methodist societies.

Wesley spent the remaining 52 years of his life as an itinerant minister, preaching more than 40,000 sermons and averaging 4,000 miles of travel annually. Although he himself remained a priest in the Church of England until his death, he gave the Methodist societies, which he helped found, a legal constitution, which led to an independent trajectory for Methodism.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Prominent Religious Events and People in American History
Methodist Religious Events and People in American History
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Prominent Religious Events and People in American History
Methodist Religious Events and People in American History
Narrative
John Wesley was born in Epworth, Lincolnshire, England, in 1703. He was the fifteenth child of Church of England rector Samuel Wesley and his wife, Susanna Wesley. He was educated at Oxford (B.A., 1724; M.A., 1727) and ordained in 1728.

After helping his father at Epworth, he returned to Oxford and joined his brother Charles’s Holy Club, a group of young men interested in spiritual matters and works of charity. John became the leader of this group that was known to others as the Methodists.

Wesley is well known for a religious experience that led to the development of his distinct theology and practices. After a failed mission to the colony of Georgia, he returned to England and subsequently met a Moravian preacher named Peter Boehler. In 1738, he experienced an evangelical conversion at a society meeting on Aldersgate Street, London, in which his “heart was strangely warmed.” This experience led him to the belief of salvation through Jesus Christ alone, which became a large emphasis for Methodist societies.

Wesley spent the remaining 52 years of his life as an itinerant minister, preaching faith in Jesus Christ. "The Bible knows nothing of solitary religion," he said. Over this period, he preached more than 40,000 sermons and averaged 4,000 miles of travel annually, mostly by horseback, visiting Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. Although he encountered much persecution, he continued evangelizing until his death in 1791.

He gave the Methodist societies a legal constitution, an action that led to a separation from the Church of England and independent trajectory for Methodism.
Religious Groups
Methodist/Pietist Family: Other ARDA Links

Events
Life of David Brainerd Published
First Wesleyan Missionaries Arrive in America
Wesley's A Collection of Hymns, for Use of the People Called Methodists
John and Charles Wesley Visit America
Movements
Abolitionism
Photographs

John Wesley portrait- Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-5824

John Wesley portrait 2- Library of Congress, LC-USZ72-154

John Wesley preaching- Internet Archive- from The Heart of John Wesley's Journal

John Wesley preaching- Internet Archive- from The Life of John Wesley by C. T. Winchester

John Wesley preaching- Internet Archive- from John Wesley by J. H. Overton
Book/Journal Source(s)
Reid, Daniel, Robert Linder, Bruce Shelley, and Harry Stout, 1990. Dictionary of Christianity in America. Downers Grove, IL.
Web Source(s)
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/wesley
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

Bookmark and Share