As conflict between the colonies and Great Britain escalated, Asbury increasingly seemed out of place next to Wesley’s other preachers in America. While they continued to see American Methodism as strictly an extension of Wesley’s European connection, Asbury accepted that America was culturally different from England, with its own set of needs. As Asbury recruited young American preachers like Philip Gatch and William Watters, Thomas Rankin grew increasing suspicious of Asbury’s connection to these Americans. In September 1773 Asbury contracted malaria while in Maryland. Still, he felt most at home in the South, where a sustained revival took hold in Virginia and North Carolina, 1773–1776, aided in part by the Anglican priest Devereux Jarratt. While George Shadford embraced the revival along with Asbury, Rankin grew suspicious of its emotionalism. At a meeting of the preachers Asbury silenced Rankin by making him the object of a joke about a mouse.
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