First Wesleyan Missionaries Arrive in America
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Prior to 1769, Methodist preachers in America, like Thomas Webb, had written to John Wesley to send Methodist missionaries to help build upon the work they started. At, the Leeds Conference of 1769, John Wesley asked for volunteers to go to America as missionaries. Richard Boardman and Joseph Pilmore, both young preachers at the time, offered their services. On October 20, 1769, they arrived six miles below Philadelphia in Gloucester Point, New Jersey.

Pilmore stayed behind in Philadelphia while Boardman traveled to New York, though they would alternate posts every four months or so. Pilmore was an aggressive evangelist who helped spread Methodism not only in Philadelphia, but also in Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. Meanwhile, Boardman was considered likeable and a good preacher, but fairly lax in his post, which led Wesley to remove Boardman and elevate Francis Asbury, who became the preeminent leader of American Methodism.
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

Wesley, John
Pilmore, Joseph

Richard Boardman portrait- Internet Archive

Joseph Pilmore portrait- Internet Archive- from The Heart of Asbury's Journal

St George's Methodist Episcopal Church, Philadelphia- Hathi Trust- from The History of Methodism, vol 1 by John Fletcher Hurst
Book/Journal Source(s)
Bucke, Emory Stevens, 1964. The History of American Methodism. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press.
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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