The first denomination to organize itself as an American church after the achievement of independence was the Methodist Episcopal Church, which was founded in Baltimore, Maryland, at the close of 1784. What triggered this action was the lack of a regular sacramental ministry among the Methodists of America. Because John Wesley insisted that his followers receive baptism and communion from Church of England priests, and because very few such priests remained in America at the close of the Revolutionary War, American Methodists were largely without the sacraments. Even before the rebellion broke out, Joseph Pilmore, one of the first two preachers sent by Wesley to America, put his finger on the problem when he wrote, "The chief difficulty we labour under is want of Ordination and I believe we shall be Obliged to procure it by some means or other." A few Methodist preachers in Virginia solved the problem by ordaining one another. Shocked by their audacity, Francis Asbury wrote to Wesley for instructions.
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