American Saint: Francis Asbury and the Methodists  -     By: John Wigger
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American Saint: Francis Asbury and the Methodists

Oxford University Press / 2012 / Paperback

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Product Description

American Saint is the definitive modern biography of Methodist leader Farancis Asbury.

English-born Francis Asbury was one of the most important religious leaders in American history. Asbury single-handedly guided the creation of the American Methodist church, which became the largest Protestant denomination in nineteenth-century America, and laid the foundation of the Holiness and Pentecostal movements that flourish today. In American Saint, John Wigger has written the definitive biography of Asbury and, by extension, a revealing interpretation of the early years of the Methodist movement in America.

Asbury emerges here as not merely an influential religious leader, but a fascinating character, who lived an extraordinary life. His cultural sensitivity was matched only by his ability to organize. His life of prayer and voluntary poverty were legendary, as was his generosity to the poor. He had a remarkable ability to connect with ordinary people, and he met with thousands of them as he crisscrossed the nation, riding more than one hundred and thirty thousand miles between his arrival in America in 1771 and his death in 1816. Indeed Wigger notes that Asbury was more recognized face-to-face than any other American of his day, including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 560
Vendor: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2012
ISBN: 0199948240
ISBN-13: 9780199948246
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

English-born Francis Asbury was one of the most important religious leaders in American history. Asbury single-handedly guided the creation of the American Methodist church, which became the largest Protestant denomination in nineteenth-century America, and laid the foundation of the Holiness and Pentecostal movements that flourish today. In American Saint, John Wigger has written the definitive biography of Asbury and, by extension, a revealing interpretation of the early years of the Methodist movement in America. Asbury emerges here as not merely an influential religious leader, but a fascinating character, who lived an extraordinary life. His cultural sensitivity was matched only by his ability to organize. His life of prayer and voluntary poverty were legendary, as was his generosity to the poor. He had a remarkable ability to connect with ordinary people, and he met with thousands of them as he crisscrossed the nation, riding more than one hundred and thirty thousand miles between his arrival in America in 1771 and his death in 1816. Indeed Wigger notes that Asbury was more recognized face-to-face than any other American of his day, including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.

Author Bio


John Wigger is Professor of History at the University of Missouri.

Editorial Reviews


"Wigger has fixed his place as the best Asbury scholar to date and one of the top historians of the American religious scene in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries."--Richard P. Heitzenrater, Methodist History


"Asbury has not lacked for biographies, but Wigger's is definitive and magisterial."--Grant Wacker, Christian Century


"Francis Asbury had an immense influence in shaping the early American Republic in that he promoted and oversaw the phenomenal growth of the fledgling Methodist movement at a rate that would soon make it America's largest Protestant denomination. John Wigger provides a definitive and illuminating biography that is to be recommended to all who wish to understand the sort of leadership that makes great religious movements succeed."--George Marsden, author of Jonathan Edwards: A Life


"Francis Asbury was one of the three or four most important religious leaders in American history, but until now he has lacked a comprehensive biography. John Wigger fills this gap splendidly. But much more than filling a gap, Wigger's rich account of the man who created American Methodism as the marvel of its age also reveals a great deal about the United States in its formative decades. This is a terrific book on a major figure."--Mark A. Noll, author of America's God: From Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln


"Wigger's superbly researched and clearly written biography deservedly rehabilitates one of America's unlikeliest but most significant religious leaders. From his humble beginnings in England, Francis Asbury probably did more to reshape the religious culture of the new Republic than any other individual."--David Hempton, author of Methodism: Empire of the Spirit


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