Keys to the Past

Glossary

Wesley, John

(1703-1791AD)
John Wesley was the unintentional founder of Methodism. He was a theology student at Oxford in 1729AD where he, with friends, preached to the poor and prisoners. This group was nicknamed the Methodists as they strictly followed the Methods of the Bible. In 1738AD, Wesley was inspired to take this style of work again - but throughout the whole of Britain. To achieve this he travelled widely, (including Northumberland, Newcastle and Durham), and preached thousands of sermons. He recorded his travels in journals that have been subsequently published.

This work started local societies and chapels following Wesley's teachings. A house for orphans was established in Newcastle upon Tyne's Northumberland Street - Wesley's third institution founded in 1742AD. This was because Wesley had received little official support from the Church of England. An annual conference of these local societies was started - which lead to the formation of the Methodists as distinct from the Church of England. John Wesley was often supported in his preaching by Charles, his younger brother (1707-1788AD) and a noted hymn writer.

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