The American Revolution was a pivotal time for American Methodism. Had Asbury not stayed in the country, Methodism might have failed in America. Though he was confined to Delaware and parts of Maryland, and persecuted by those who opposed Methodists, Asbury still elevated his influence. Through unifying Methodists all over the American colonies and leading itinerant preachers during the conflict of war, Asbury successfully expanded Methodism. At the end of the American Revolution, there were 14,988 American members, along with forty-six circuits and eighty-four itinerant preachers.
In 1784, with the independence of America from Britain sinking in, the American Methodist church was established with Asbury at its head. Again, Asbury is put in a position to prosper Methodism in America. For the first time since the movement began, Methodism was now independent from the Church of England. With this new independence, and a much larger population of ...view middle of the document...
Asbury’s influence carried on in America, and numbers continued to grow. By 1844, only twenty-six years after Asbury’s death, Methodism had over 1,000,000 members.
Francis Asbury was the reason that Methodism succeeded in America. When he arrived in 1771, the movement was very small and not going anywhere. However, by the time Asbury died, the movement had become its own separate church and had grown in membership to over 1,000,000 people. He believed his appointment, as a missionary to America was his destiny. The twenty-six year old Asbury viewed America as fitting in regards to his aspirations as a preacher. Since leaving England, Asbury never owned a home. For forty-five years, the itinerant preacher never stopped long enough to settle down. He never wanted to settle, and believed that as itinerants; one must give all them to the lifestyle. Asbury was never wealthy. In fact, he gave nearly all of the money that came his way, away, and only carried what he could on horseback. Asbury’s body would be affected by all of the traveling as well, whether by sickness or fatigue. He also faced much danger in traveling the frontier of a newly settled America that ended up engaging in war with his home country of Britain. Yet, even sickness, danger, and war would not suppress Asbury’s bountiful traveling and preaching. His goal in spreading Methodism and the gospel throughout America was set in front of him and nothing was going to hold him back. As the American Revolution went on, Asbury did all that he could to contain unity amongst the Methodists in America. Though he was from Britain, Asbury remained neutral in the conflict, and strove to continue in expanding Methodism. He was successful. At the end of the war, Methodism had increased from around 3,000 members to just fewer than 15,000 members. In 1784, as Methodism became independent from the Church of England, Asbury was appointed the head of the church in America. Continuing to travel throughout every American circuit, Asbury would continue to preach, appoint, and license other preachers for the sake of spreading Methodism. His work would pay off. By the time Asbury died in 1816, Methodism had increased to a dominant practicing Protestant religion in America that was continuing to increase.