200 Years of United Methodism
An Illustrated History

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Methodism in the Colonies

Robert Strawbridge (1732?-1781). Engraving after the Thomas Coke Ruckle painting, ca. 1880.Some of these Methodists crossed the Atlantic and formed religious societies: in Maryland, under the leadership of Robert Strawbridge; in New York, under the leadership of Barbara Heck and Philip Embury; and in Philadelphia, under the leadership of Captain Thomas Webb, who told people their "profession of religion was not worth a rush unless their sins were forgiven and they had the witness of God's spirit with theirs, that they were the children of God." These leaders, all of whom were unordained, remembered what they had learned from Methodist preachers in England and passed on these lessons to the men and women, slave and free, who joined their Methodist societies. The Rigging Loft. First preaching house of the Methodists in New York City, 1767. EngravingOnly when they began to feel the need for preachers trained by Wesley did they send for help.Captain Thomas Webb (dl796). Pastel on paper by Lewis Vaslet, drawn in Webb's native Bristol, England, ca. 1795.

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