As the 15th of 19 children born to Samuel and Susanna Wesley, John Wesley arrived in 1703 to a father who was a preacher and a mother who had a tremendous spiritual influence on her children. John was a serious-minded student and a founder of the “Holy Club” at Oxford University. His spiritual growth continued, but was more evident after he completed his University studies and delved into Luther’s works.
He and brother, Charles spent time as missionaries by the “Society for the Propagation of the Gospel to Georgia, where both brothers developed as preachers. Upon the return to England, Wesley became an even more notable preacher. He states that he arose at four every morning for sixty years and preached at five daily for fifty years. He often preached two or three times daily. He lived in excellent health for 85 years.
The Wesleyan movement which became the Methodist church was due largely to the efforts of John and Charles Wesley. In addition to the preaching and teaching, Wesley took on all the responsibility for administration of the rapidly expanding denomination.
John Wesley is best known for founding what is now known as the Methodist Church, along with his brother Charles Wesley. John also was very organized in everything he did. In the 1700s when travel was by carriage, walking or horseback, he regularly logged more than 4000 miles annually. His reading was done while traveling, since he was not one to waste even a moment’s time. His books, sermons and essays include A Plain Account of Christian Perfection (Foundations of Faith), How to Pray, and John Wesley’s Sermons.
The only thing worse than a man you can’t control is a man you can. Margo Kaufman