John Wesley was a cleric and theologian who was a native of England. He founded the Methodist movement in the 18th century. It was founded to bring about a reformation within the Church of England. However the movement became a separate church and today it has millions of adherents worldwide.
John Wesley was born in Epworth, Lincolnshire, England on June 17th 1703. He was ordained a priest of the Church of England in 1725. He went with his brother Charles to Savannah, Georgia in America on missionary work. However their mission was not a success and they returned to England.
Shortly after his return Wesley had what he called a ’conversion experience’ on May 24th 1738. At the time he was attending a Moravian service at Aldersgate Street in London. Shortly thereafter, with his brother Charles, he established a Methodist society in London and later in the city of Bristol.
Wesley began preaching to colliers in the city of Bristol and the Methodist movement had begun. They were called Methodists because of their methodical approach to religious observance and their strong commitment to charitable works.
Wesley first visited Ireland in 1747. He became a regular visitor in the following years. He visited Carlow where he preached and held services on six occasions. His first visit to Carlow was in 1765. He paid his final visit to Carlow in 1769 when he was 66 years old.
John Wesley, cleric, theologian and founder of the Methodist movement, died aged 87 in the year 1791 On This Day.