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American Saint Francis Asbury and the Methodists$
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John Wigger

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195387803

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195387803.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
American Saint Francis Asbury and the Methodists

John Wigger (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

As leader of the Methodist movement in America, Francis Asbury was neither a charismatic communicator (he was rarely admired as a preacher), intellectual, or domineering autocrat. Rather, he communicated his vision for Methodism in four enduring ways: through his piety, his ability to connect with ordinary people face to face, his understanding and use of popular culture, and his skills at organizing. Asbury’s piety expressed itself through a pattern of prayer and voluntary poverty and included a genuine concern for the poor. The itinerant connection, which sent circuit riders across the nation preaching the Methodist message, was also important to Asbury’s success, as was the Methodist system of discipline.

Keywords:   charismatic communicator, circuit riders, discipline, intellectual, itinerant connection, organizing, piety, popular culture, prayer, voluntary poverty

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