Black Country man who helped shape America to be celebrated
16 March 2016
A man from the Black Country who helped shape
America is to be celebrated this April with a day of special events
in Tipton on Saturday, 9th April.
Francis Asbury was a humble metal worker and lay preacher
when, in 1771, the founder of the Methodist Church John Wesley
called for men to become preachers in the soon to be independent
Asbury answered the call and became America's first
Methodist Joint Superintendent along with the Revd Dr Thomas Coke.
Asbury's passion and determination meant that Methodism became
important in the founding of the young country.
This year is the 200th anniversary of Asbury's death and
to mark his life, there will be a day of events held around the
area he lived on Saturday 9th April.
At the Black
Country Living Museum, dignitaries from the Methodist Church in
the UK and America will be remembering Asbury with a day of fun and
events. A special service will be held in the Museum's Darby Hand
Chapel where there will also be an exhibition of Asbury's life,
themed story tellers and a costumed choir.
Talks will be given by historians and members of the
Church in the UK and America to discuss the importance of Francis
Asbury and his life. In nearby Great Barr, the small eighteenth
century cottage where Asbury spent his childhood will the open for
tours with a heritage bus service run between the two
"Asbury travelled thousands of miles in America each year.
Under his direction, the church grew from 1,200 to 214,000 members.
Among the men he ordained was Richard Allen in Philadelphia, the
first black minister in the United States," said Jo Hibbard, the
Methodist Church's Director of Engagement.
She continued: "Asbury shaped more than religion in the
United States. His work helped shaped the nation itself. The values
that he taught continue to influence American society. There are
now more than 7 million Methodists in the USA and over 80 million
"The man is revered in the US and we are delighted that a
number of delegates will be joining us from America for the event
to remember his work."
For further information on plans for the Family Fun Day on
April 9, 2016, and how you can get involved, visit the Methodist