HomeWinterFrancis Asbury and George Whitfield

Francis Asbury and George Whitfield

Paradise, John. Francis Asbury (1745-1816). 1813. Oil on canvas. 76.2cm x 61cm. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. (Portrait on left side) Badger, Joseph. George Whitefield (1714-1770). 1745. Oil on canvas. 106.5 x 83.5 cm. Harvard University Portrait Collection, Gift of Mrs. H. P. (Sarah H.) Oliver to Harvard College, 1852. Harvard Art Museums. (Portrait on right side)

November 15th

Francis Asbury (1745-1816) and George Whitfield (1714-1770) are evangelists, early Methodists, and founders of American Evangelicalism.

George Whitfield (sometimes spelled Whitefield) was one of the first to join John Wesley’s group which became known as Methodists. In fact, Whitfield taught Wesley to preach outdoors which helped build the movement in Bristol, England. While a Methodist, Whitfield differed with Wesley, embracing the theology of Calvinism and tolerating slavery. Whitfield devoted his life to founding the Bethesda Orphanage in Georgia and was known as a firebrand preacher who could inspire the multitudes. He preached to millions of people in his life, especially in America, where he was a prominent leader in the Great Awakening.

Bishop Francis Asbury was also a leader in the Great Awakening and a Methodist from England. When Wesley was making assignments of preaching circuits, Asbury volunteered for the circuit named simply—America. He likely preached to as many as Whitfield, but instead of drawing large crowds he took the message on the road riding an average of 6,000 miles a year. He was the first Methodist Bishop to be ordained in America and was its leader for 32 years. He petitioned George Washington to end slavery. He founded schools and countless churches. Asbury and Whitfield, so similar and so different, contributed to the stream of religious life in the new world which we now call American Evangelicalism.

To remember Whitfield we are having throat coat tea, the perfect pairing for a weary voice. Tea with lemon juice, honey, and spices, this beverage will soothe the throat and warm the soul. And if you want your tea to really pack a punch add a shot of whisky.

To remember Asbury and the many miles he traveled to share the good news, we are recommending journey cakes. The Methodist circuit riders found this portable food suited for their long journeys between missions. The corn journey cake or Johnny cake was a Native American staple. It is basically fried cornbread. It is traditionally served like pancakes with butter and cane syrup or honey.

These two recipes will keep your voice strong and give you strength to get wherever you may be going!