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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.221) 13 Reconnecting
American Saint Francis Asbury and the Methodists

John Wigger (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

While Methodism grew vigorously in New York, its growth was slower in New England, in part because Methodists refused to seek government support. Asbury frequently had strep throat, which can damage the heart valves and lead to congestive heart failure. At the New England conference in 1793 Asbury managed to replace Jesse Lee as presiding elder with Ezekiel Cooper, despite stubborn resistance from Lee. Asbury escaped yellow fever in Philadelphia, but arrived in Charleston, South Carolina, in December desperately ill nonetheless. Since he could not travel, he delegated authority to presiding elders, including John Kobler and Francis Poythress in Kentucky and Tennessee. As he traveled less, Asbury returned to more basic pastoral duties. Such responsibilities often exhausted young preachers, who frequently left the ministry for marriage, as was nearly the case with Ezekiel Cooper.

Keywords:   congestive heart failure, Ezekiel Cooper, government, John Kobler, Jesse Lee, marriage, presiding elders, Francis Poythress, strep throat, yellow fever

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