92 Facts About John Wesley


John Wesley subsequently left the Moravians and began his own ministry.


John Wesley held that, in this life, Christians could achieve a state where the love of God "reigned supreme in their hearts", giving them not only outward but inward holiness.


John Wesley was the fifteenth child of Samuel Wesley and his wife Susanna Wesley.


Samuel John Wesley was a graduate of the University of Oxford and a poet who, from 1696, was rector of Epworth.


John Wesley married Susanna, the twenty-fifth child of Samuel Annesley, a dissenting minister, in 1689.


Susanna John Wesley examined each child before the midday meal and before evening prayers.


In 1714, at age 11, Wesley was sent to the Charterhouse School in London, where he lived the studious, methodical and, for a while, religious life in which he had been trained at home.


Sparks falling on the children's beds and cries of "fire" from the street roused the Wesleys who managed to shepherd all their children out of the house except for John who was left stranded on an upper floor.


John Wesley later used the phrase, "a brand plucked out of the fire", quoting Zechariah 3:2, to describe the incident.


John Wesley was influenced by the reported haunting of Epworth Rectory between 1716 and 1717.


The John Wesley family reported frequently hearing noises and occasionally seeing apparitions which they believed were caused by a ghost called 'Old Jeffery'.


John Wesley's father had requested his assistance in serving the neighbouring cure of Wroot.


John Wesley pursued a rigidly methodical and abstemious life, studied Scripture, and performed his religious duties diligently, depriving himself so that he would have alms to give.


John Wesley began to seek after holiness of heart and life.


Blair was notorious among the townspeople and his fellow prisoners, and John Wesley continued to support him.


John Wesley regarded the contempt with which he and his group were held to be a mark of a true Christian.


Oglethorpe wanted John Wesley to be the minister of the newly formed Savannah parish, a new town laid out in accordance with the famous Oglethorpe Plan.


John Wesley was influenced by their deep faith and spirituality rooted in pietism.


The deeply personal religion that the Moravian pietists practiced heavily influenced John Wesley and is reflected in his theology of Methodism.


John Wesley approached the Georgia mission as a High churchman, seeing it as an opportunity to revive "primitive Christianity" in a primitive environment.


John Wesley hesitated to marry her because he felt that his first priority in Georgia was to be a missionary to the Native Americans, and he was interested in the practice of clerical celibacy within early Christianity.


In strictly applying the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer, John Wesley denied her Communion after she failed to signify to him in advance her intention of taking it.


John Wesley found that, although he had committed to the life of following Christ, he was dissatisfied with his spiritual soundness and felt inadequate to preach, especially after witnessing the confident way in which the Moravians had preached their faith.


John Wesley met Peter Boehler, a Moravian missionary, with whom John Wesley discussed his issues.


Boehler encouraged John Wesley to "preach faith until you have it".


John Wesley started preaching with a new doctrine which many churches were unaccustomed, and many churches asked John Wesley to not come back.


John Wesley allied himself with the Moravian society in Fetter Lane.


On his return to England, John Wesley drew up rules for the "bands" into which the Fetter Lane Society was divided and published a collection of hymns for them.


John Wesley met frequently with this and other religious societies in London but did not preach often in 1738, because most of the parish churches were closed to him.


When John Wesley reached Bristol, the city was booming with new industrial and commercial development.


John Wesley hesitated to accept Whitefield's call to copy this bold step.


John Wesley was unhappy about the idea of field preaching as he believed Anglican liturgy had much to offer in its practice.


John Wesley preached to create repentance, prayed for conversion, dealt with hysterical behavior, and preached to upwards of thousands through field preaching.


Late in 1739 John Wesley broke with the Moravians in London.


John Wesley had helped them organise the Fetter Lane Society, and those converted by his preaching and that of his brother and Whitefield had become members of their bands.


John Wesley traveled to Ireland for the first time in 1747 and continued through 1789.


John Wesley rejected the Ireland Catholic Church, so he worked to convert the people of Ireland to Methodism.


John Wesley felt that the church failed to call sinners to repentance, that many of the clergy were corrupt, and that people were perishing in their sins.


John Wesley believed he was commissioned by God to bring about revival in the church, and no opposition, persecution, or obstacles could prevail against the divine urgency and authority of this commission.


John Wesley evaluated and approved men who were not ordained by the Anglican Church to preach and do pastoral work.


When disorder arose among some members of the societies, John Wesley adopted giving tickets to members, with their names written by his own hand.


John Wesley undertook to visit each society regularly in what became the quarterly visitation, or conference.


John Wesley laid the foundations of what now constitutes the organisation of the Methodist Church.


Two years later, to help preachers work more systematically and societies receive services more regularly, John Wesley appointed "helpers" to definitive circuits.


John Wesley had strong links with the North West of England, visiting Manchester on at least fifteen occasions between 1733 and 1790.


In 1745 John Wesley wrote that he would make any concession which his conscience permitted, to live in peace with the clergy.


When, in 1746, John Wesley read Lord King's account of the primitive church, he became convinced that apostolic succession could be transmitted through not only bishops, but presbyters.


John Wesley ordained Thomas Coke as superintendent of Methodists in the United States by the laying on of hands, although Coke was already a priest in the Church of England.


John Wesley ordained Richard Whatcoat and Thomas Vasey as presbyters; Whatcoat and Vasey sailed to America with Coke.


John Wesley intended that Coke and Francis Asbury should ordain others in the newly founded Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States.


John Wesley contended that a part of the theological method would involve experiential faith.


The doctrines which John Wesley emphasised in his sermons and writings are prevenient grace, present personal salvation by faith, the witness of the Spirit, and entire sanctification.


Unlike the Calvinists of his day, John Wesley did not believe in predestination, that is, that some persons had been elected by God for salvation and others for damnation.


John Wesley understood that Christian orthodoxy insisted that salvation was only possible by the sovereign grace of God.


John Wesley expressed his understanding of humanity's relationship to God as utter dependence upon God's grace.


John Wesley assumed the superiority of Christianity vis-a-vis to Islam, based on his commitment to the biblical revelation as "the book of God".


John Wesley often regarded the lifestyles of Muslims as an "ox goad" to prick the collective Christian conscience.


John Wesley entered controversies as he tried to enlarge church practice.


John Wesley's father was of the Arminian school in the church.


John Wesley came to his own conclusions while in college and expressed himself strongly against the doctrines of Calvinistic election and reprobation.


When in 1739 John Wesley preached a sermon on Freedom of Grace, attacking the Calvinistic understanding of predestination as blasphemous, as it represented "God as worse than the devil," Whitefield asked him not to repeat or publish the discourse, as he did not want a dispute.


Whitefield and John Wesley were soon back on friendly terms, and their friendship remained unbroken although they travelled different paths.


In 1778, John Wesley began the publication of The Arminian Magazine, not, he said, to convince Calvinists, but to preserve Methodists.


Later in his ministry, John Wesley was a keen abolitionist, speaking out and writing against the slave trade.


John Wesley denounced slavery as "the sum of all villainies" and detailed its abuses.


John Wesley addressed the slave trade in a polemical tract, titled Thoughts Upon Slavery, in 1774.


John Wesley wrote, "Liberty is the right of every human creature, as soon as he breathes the vital air; and no human law can deprive him of that right which he derives from the law of nature".


John Wesley influenced George Whitefield to journey to the colonies, spurring the transatlantic debate on slavery.


John Wesley was a mentor to William Wilberforce, who was influential in the abolition of slavery in the British Empire.


John Wesley wrote to Wesley to seek his advice and forgiveness.


John Wesley let Crosby to continue her preaching so long as she refrained from as many of the mannerisms of preaching as she could.


Between 1761 and 1771, John Wesley wrote detailed instructions to Crosby and others, with specifics on what styles of preaching they could use.


For instance, in 1769, John Wesley allowed Crosby to give exhortations.


John Wesley's argument was that women should be able to preach when they experienced an 'extraordinary call,' or when given permission from God.


John Wesley accepted Bosanquet's argument, and formally began to allow women to preach in Methodism in 1771.


John Wesley travelled widely, generally on horseback, preaching two or three times each day.


John Wesley practised a vegetarian diet and in later life abstained from wine for health reasons.


John Wesley attended music concerts, and was especially an admirer of Charles Avison.


John Wesley is described as "rather under the medium height, well proportioned, strong, with a bright eye, a clear complexion, and a saintly, intellectual face".


John Wesley stayed at the home of a leading Methodist, Henrietta Gayer, where it was thought he would die.


John Wesley's health declined sharply towards the end of his life and he ceased preaching.


John Wesley was a logical thinker and expressed himself clearly, concisely and forcefully in writing.


Between 1746 and 1760, John Wesley compiled several volumes of written sermons, published as Sermons on Several Occasions; the first four volumes comprise forty-four sermons which are doctrinal in content.


John Wesley was a fluent, powerful and effective preacher; he usually preached spontaneously and briefly, though occasionally at great length.


John Wesley's Sunday Service was an adaptation of the Book of Common Prayer for use by American Methodists.


John Wesley was a noted hymn-writer, translator and compiler of a hymnal.


John Wesley wrote on physics and medicine, such as in The Desideratum, subtitled Electricity made Plain and Useful by a Lover of Mankind and of Common Sense.


John Wesley continues to be the primary theological influence on Methodists and Methodist-heritage groups the world over; the Methodist movement numbers 75 million adherents in more than 130 countries.


John Wesley's call to personal and social holiness continues to challenge Christians who attempt to discern what it means to participate in the Kingdom of God.


In 2002, John Wesley was listed at number 50 on the BBC's list of the 100 Greatest Britons, drawn from a poll of the British public.


John Wesley preaching in Moorfields in 1738, stained glass in St Botolph's, Aldersgate.


In 2009, a more ambitious feature film, John Wesley, was released by Foundery Pictures, starring Burgess Jenkins as John Wesley.