Tag Archives: Colonial America

Quite possibly the most influential person in the early republic, Methodist pioneer Francis Asbury was NOT your typical leader

Francis Asbury WAS, in many senses, early American Methodism. Here’s my recent interview, for Christianity Today, with historian John Wigger, who has written a fascinating biography of this man, who was better known in his time than any other public figure in America.

Indelible Marker
John Wigger explains how Francis Asbury left his fingerprints all over American Christianity.
Interview by Chris Armstrong

Flash back to 1776 and consider the celebrities of the time: George Washington, and maybe Thomas Jefferson. Believe it or not, the horseback-riding preacher and leader of early Methodism, Francis Asbury, would have been more recognizable face to face than these leaders or anyone else of his generation. Chris Armstrong, associate professor of church history at Bethel Seminary, interviewed historian John Wigger about the imprint Asbury left on America, which Wigger details in American Saint: Francis Asbury and the Methodists (Oxford University Press).

What did Francis Asbury do that American Christians today should appreciate? Continue reading