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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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“Weighed in the balances”

“Weighed in the balances”

(p.241) 14 “Weighed in the balances”
American Saint Francis Asbury and the Methodists

John Wigger (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Asbury’s physical breakdown in 1793 offered him the opportunity to reconnect with a group he had neglected for several years, African American Methodists. As a result, he came to realize that they were often better off meeting by themselves, apart from white supervision. Richard Allen’s ministry in Philadelphia offered an example of what black Methodists could accomplish. Born a slave, Allen earned his freedom after his master had been convicted of the moral evil of slavery by Freeborn Garrettson. In a famous incident, Allen and other black Methodists left St. George’s church after being pulled from their knees during prayer because they had supposedly chosen the wrong seats in the new balcony. Asbury supported Allen’s creation of a separate black Methodist church in Philadelphia, called Bethel, by appointing Garrettson presiding elder in 1793 and preaching the dedication sermon at Bethel.

Keywords:   African American, Richard Allen, Bethel, black Methodists, Freeborn Garrettson, St. George’s, Philadelphia, slavery

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