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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.329) 20 Limits
American Saint Francis Asbury and the Methodists

John Wigger (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The revival in the Chesapeake and the West was immensely satisfying for Asbury, but it introduced new complexities as the church continued to expand. He now had nearly 400 itinerant preachers in twenty states and territories to supervise, and his health was often precarious. Thomas Coke returned for the 1804 General Conference. Coke remained dissatisfied with his subordinate status to Asbury and the General Conference accomplished little. An increasing number of preachers, including Thomas Lyell and George Roberts, left the church, in part because salaries were so low. By the summer of 1804 both Asbury and Whatcoat were seriously ill. Meanwhile, Thomas Coke returned to England and married, but continued to write to American Methodists demanding a more significant role in running the church. Methodist preachers increasingly struggled with combining marriage and ministry, as the cases of Richard Sneath and William Colbert demonstrate.

Keywords:   William Colbert, Thomas Coke, General Conference, itinerant preachers, Thomas Lyell, marriage, revival, salaries, George Roberts, Richard Sneath

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