The Methodist Church
The Lee family arrived in the United States approximately around 1748 or 1750. The Lee family would play significant role in the transformation of this country as time went on. During the Second Great Awaking there were many social issues that developed during this era. One of the social issues that resulted from the Second Great Awakening was arrival of the Methodist Church to the United States in 1768 and the rapid growth of the Methodist church. This became a problem for the Methodist Church due to the fact that there were not enough preachers to meet the demand. The Methodist Church began to use circuit preachers. Unfortunately, the circuit preachers did not have a formal education before they were sent out to spread the gospel.
As Luther Lee grew up so did his desire to preach the gospel. Lee fell into the category of the uneducated circuit preachers. However, Lee was more fortunate than some of the other preachers. He received assistance from his older brother, and later he met and married a woman by the name of Mary Miller. She was a school teacher and assisted in his education. She unknowingly helped prepare her husband for the role he would assume in the reform that would impact their life and this country.
Luther Lee would apply the education that he had received by addressing the social/spiritual issues of heresy, which was being planted in the minds and hearts of the people by the Universalist. He would accept his first challenge to a public debate with a Universalist preacher. According to the Universalist belief all men would go to heaven when they die. Luther was simply honing the debating skills that he had acquired, in his attempt to protect the people from the spread of further heresy by the Universalist preachers. After the debate Lee was acknowledged as the winner of the debate in De Peyster. The congregation would later ask Luther to become their pastor. He once again took on the challenge of debating the Universalists and once again came through victorious. The Methodist church would eventually spread across the country.
In 1753 the Methodist Church in England created a rule that if its members could be disciplined for purchasing or selling, or using alcohol except in extreme emergencies. The American Methodist general conference asked its members not to produce, sell, or use alcohol, and in 1816 the general conference decided that any local preacher producing, selling, or using alcohol would lose his license.
It was not the Methodist that took a national stand against alcohol, but it was the Congregationalists that pursued national reform by creating the American Society for the Promotion of Temperance.
In 1825 Reverend Lyman Beecher began preaching on temperance, as a result of his preaching the American Temperance Society came into existence the following year. This move stirred the women in various churches to become involved in the fight against alcoholic beverages. The...