John Wesley (1703–1791) was a Church of England priest who in 1738 underwent a profound spiritual experience. This gave him complete assurance in God’s love and forgiveness and urged him to convince others that this love and forgiveness was freely available to all.
Although initially reluctant he began to preach in the open air, by which he could
reach many thousands of poor people who rarely crossed the threshold of a church.
In his lifetime he travelled an estimated 250,000 miles and preached 40,000 times. The strength and impact of Methodism led to an eventual separation from the Church of England.
Wherever he went, Wesley soughtto put in place a structure to support and nurture those new Christians who had responded to his preaching.
They were organised into local societies and subdivided into classes, small fellowship groups for encouraging Christian growth.
Each Society member received a quarterly class ticket.
In everything John Wesley was ably assisted by his brother, Charles, who is
remembered in his own right as a prolific hymn writer. Many of his
hymns, including “Hark the herald angels sing”, remain popular to this
During John’s life, and after his death, Methodism spread out overseas,
first to the USA and since then all over the world.
John Wesley left a rich heritage of Methodism behind when he went to join his Lord in 1791.
With many peaceful blessings