Contribution of key figures upon the Wesleyan Movement
Methodism began in the 1730s as a spiritual movement founded by John Wesley. When the movement first emerged, it sought for spiritual renewal within the church of England. However, it would later break from the church of England to form a separate and independent identity, the Wesleyan movement. But the movement would only gain popularity later in the mid-18th century steered by the devotion of early Methodist leaders led by its founder John Wesley. With sheer determination, the Methodism leaders stuck to the cause of Christ to ensure the spread of the ministry. Methodism also ordained women of piety, giving them important leadership roles in spreading the ministry.
Some of the early leaders who played a key role in the spread of the Wesleyan movement include;
From the beginning, Charles Wesley’s younger brother was always beside him, helping him preach the gospel and expand the ministry. Charles used his preaching and songwriting gift to write thousands of hymns that played a vital role in promoting the ministry. Some of his hymns, such as the “Love Divine” and “Jesus, Lover of My Soul,” are widely known and are still sang in churches to date. The brothers had been ordained around the same time and were together since the early days of the movement, traveling together and ordaining more preachers.
Thomas Coke joined the Wesleyan movement in 1772 after two years of being ordained in the church of England. After two years of ordination, Coke was released from the church following the accusation that he was promoting Methodism. Coke later joined the Wesleyan leaders and later became the head of the Irish conference, where he oversaw many world missions.
Francis Asbury had a great impact on the spread of Methodism. Under the direction of John Wesley, Asbury was sent to America, where he was tasked with promoting the movement in the colonies. Throughout his leadership, Asbury preached more than 16000 sermons and successfully ordained around 4000 preachers.
Mary Bosanquet Fletcher
Born in 1738, Mary was one of the earliest female leaders in the Methodist movement. She was both a preacher and a teacher at the front line defending women’s rights to preach the gospel. Through her, Wesley began to recognize the call of God on women to preach the gospel. Mary opened the way for other women leaders such as Barbara Heck, Jarena Lee, and Sarah Crosby.
The list is endless. The success of the Wesleyan movement was a combined effort from many tireless and selfless men and women. Without them, the Wesleyan movement would not have been possible.