Francis Asbury was the circuit-riding founder of the Methodist Church in America. From his arrival in America in 1771, he tirelessly rode on horseback throughout the Eastern United States, concentrating on frontier communities that lacked churches. He visited western North Carolina repeatedly to create and then nurture fledgling Methodist congregations. He preached to groups gathered in cabins, boardinghouses, schools, taverns, fields, and even at public hangings. It is estimated that he rode over a quarter of a million miles and crossed the Appalachian Mountains 60 times. In 1784 he was ordained a superintendent, or bishop, in the Methodist Episcopal Church. At his death in 1816 there were some 214,000 Methodists in America, many of whom he had personally converted.
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Below is the Digital Heritage Moment as broadcast on the radio:
- Circuit Riders Circuit riding clergymen, mostly Methodist and Baptist, brought religion to the scattered and hard-to-reach settlements of Appalachia before the Civil War. Obtaining resident pastors for […]
- Camp Meetings Appalachian religious belief and expression were deeply influenced by the camp-meeting movement that swept the South in the early 19th century. . .
- Mud Creek Missionary Baptist Church In May 1867, having been led by the spirit of God, newly freed slaves from Charleston joined with their ministers to establish the Mud Creek Missionary Baptist Church in East Flat Rock, […]
- Decoration Day Decoration Days are an important part of Appalachian ritual life. Usually held in the summer, these days are set aside by families and church congregations to clean and decorate their […]
- Dinner on the Ground Dinner on the Ground in the Upland South from Appalachia to the Ozarks, is an outdoor picnic held at Decoration Day events. The term originally referred to eating in a churchyard or […]