15th child of Rev. Samuel Wesley, Epworth Lincolnshire. Went to study at Oxford at 17, studied at Christ Church and Lincoln College. His brother, alarmed at the spread of Deism on campus he assembled a small band of Christians determined to take their religion seriously. Under John’s leadership they drew up a plan of study and rule of life that stressed prayer, Bible reading, and frequent attendance at Holy Communion. Derisively, this group was labeled "Bible Moths," "Methodists," and the "Reforming Club." The name "Methodists" stuck. Went to an American Colony in Georgia to convert the heathen Indians and returned to England a jilted lover and a disillusioned evangelist. On January 1736, on the trip to America, this young Anglican minister was deeply influenced by the Moravian faith on the good ship Simmonds when it weathered a violent Atlantic storm. Was further affected by Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans and found there the assurance of salvation and purpose that he formerly lacked. With George Whitefield, became one of the early leaders of the Evangelical Awakening. The only prominent leader of the Awakening who stressed Arminian beliefs.
[tags]BlogRodent, church-history, ChurchRodent, Deism, Evangelical, George-Whitefield, history, John-Wesley[/tags]