Bishop Francis Asbury
b.20 August 1745 Staffordshire, England
d.31 March 1816
Facts and Events
In 1784 John Wesley named Asbury and Thomas Coke as co-superintendents of the work in America. This marks the beginning of the "Methodist Episcopal Church of the USA". For the next thirty-two years, Asbury led all the Methodists in America. Like Wesley, Asbury preached in all sorts of places: courthouses, public houses, tobacco houses, fields, public squares, wherever a crowd assembled to hear him. For the remainder of his life he rode an average of 6000 miles each year, preaching virtually every day and conducting meetings and conferences. Under his direction the church grew from 1,200 to 214,000 members and 700 ordained preachers.
In Southwest Virginia
Reverend Asbury passed through Southwest Virginia several times in the course of his long career. In his journal he makes mention of numerous individuals and events in the area, sometimes complimentary, sometimes not, but always informative.