UM: New book on Wesley in Georgia

United Methodist Church talks with author Geordan Hammond on his new book “John Wesley in America: Restoring Primitive Christianity, published by Oxford University Press.

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John Wesley in Georgia

John Wesley served as pastor of the Georgia colony in Savannah for 18 months. Rev. Enoch Hendry of Trinity United Methodist Church in Savannah remembers Wesley and the history of his church.

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Photo tour of Trinity United Methodist Church, Savannah, Georgia

View the John Wesley statue in Reynolds Square and visit Trinity United Methodist Church completed in 1850 at Telfair Square in Savannah, Georgia. flickr

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Methodist 1953 movie of Wesley online

The 1953 movie produced by the Radio and Film Commission of the United Methodist Church is now available online. The movie stars Leonard Sachs as John Wesley.

The 73 minute opens in the churchyard of St Andrews Church in Epworth where Rev. Samuel Wesley is confronted by one of the townspeople telling him to leave town. Samuel leaves church and turns home to the Rectory where John and the other Wesley children are at study. Four minutes into the movie, the rectory is in flames. John is saved, a brand plucked from the burning. From there, the movie jumps to Wesley’s return from Georgia to England.

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Tuttle: John Wesley, His Life and Theology

I just finished reading Robert Tuttle’s John Wesley, His Life and Theology. This is a 368-page book published in 1978 by Francis Asbury Press. The book is divided into four sections: The Early Years, His Early Ministry, Aldersgate and The Revival. Each section has five chapters and a section of analysis and bibliography. The book is unusual in that Tuttle writes in first person as Wesley. He traces Wesley’s changing understanding of his relationship with Jesus. In his youth, Wesley is influenced by his parents. Both are Anglicans who chose their own path after growing up in the homes of dissenting clergy. At Oxford, Wesley studies Kempis, Taylor and Law, mystics that point him towards holiness. Through his life lessons and efforts to train others in ministry, his beliefs change over time. Tuttle writes:

For the whole of his life, John Wesley remained a hairs-breadth outside of his movement. Wesley never received the abiding assurance of faith, apparently experienced by so many of those he loved and admired. He seemingly had doubts until the very end; but nonetheless, he persevered. Wesley never achieved the entire sanctification he preached to others. He wrote: I have told all the world I am not perfect…I have not attained the character I draw. Nonetheless, he held tenaciously to a doctrine that was the hallmark of Methodism.

Tuttle describes Wesley’s fear of death during his days at Charterhouse school and aboard the ship taking him to Georgia that left his feeling weak in faith. Tuttle writes:


Wesley could not bear witness to the kind of death he boasted among so many of those perfected in love. He wanted Methodists to die rejoicing, not just in peace. … He had strength only to proclaim: The best of all is, God is with us.

I found this a helpful way to transition from Wesley biography to theology.

UMC: Bishops told holy conferencing way to revival

UMC talks with Rev. Kevin Watson about his message to UM Bishops that reclaiming an accurate understanding of holy conferencing is the most important thing United Methodists can do to revitalize the denomination.

UM: Our Wesleyan heritage of disciplined Christian living

A new UM article focusing on Wesleyan Heritage states that John Wesley and the early Methodists were particularly concerned about inviting people to experience God’s grace and to grow in their knowledge and love of God through disciplined Christian living. They placed primary emphasis on Christian living, on putting faith and love into action. This emphasis on what Wesley referred to as “practical divinity” has continued to be a hallmark of United Methodism today.

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Photo tour of Wesley’s London

Visit the markers in London that honor John Wesley and take a look inside the Methodist Museum and Wesley’s Chapel at JohnWesleyBlog flickr.

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Rev Jennifer Potter talks about John Wesley and Wesley’s Chapel

Wesley’s Chapel, City Road Chapel in London, is the mother church of Methodism. John Wesley had the church built, preached there and lived on the property. It still serves as a church as well as a place of pilgrimage. Jennifer Potter is an assistant pastor at Wesley’s Chapel.

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