The founding father of American Methodism. Francis Asbury was born in England.
He was converted to Christ at the age of 13, and soon began to hold meetings.
Wesley licensed him at the age of 18 as a local preacher. As he grew into
maturity, he became so concerned for the colonists in America, that in 1771
John Wesley sent him across the Atlantic to minister to the 316 members of
the Society who had emigrated to the New World, and also to extend the frontiers
of the Methodist movement.
Asbury's efforts to convert people to Christ prospered, and quickly Wesleyan
societies spread up along the Atlantic Seaboard. After the Revolutionary War,
Asbury led in the establishment of the movement in the wild, new settlements
of the frontier. Annually, he rode 6,000 miles and preached from 300 to 500
sermons. He was ordained a deacon, then an elder, then a superintendent, and
later a bishop.
A man of tremendous vitality and executive ability, he was a tireless worker.
During his years on the circuit, he amassed a total of 270,000 miles, perhaps
the greatest mileage ever compiled by a horseman. His last entry in his journal
reads, "My consolations are great. I live in God from moment to moment."