Francis Asbury, the founding bishop of American Methodism, rode on horseback thousands of miles—preaching over 16,000 sermons as a “circuit rider” in the early 19th Century. In 1784, John Wesley asked Asbury to help establish the Methodist Church in America. It was a difficult life, visiting churches under his charge, preaching from over 1000 biblical passages. And always with him, an English as well as a Hebrew Bible. “I. ..read freely in the Bible; this book is so much hated by some. As for me I will love and read it more than ever.” Francis Asbury died weakened by illness from his circuit riding. But in his lifetime 4,000 preachers were ordained; and he launched several schools, including “Sunday schools” to teach children to read and write.
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