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Methodism’s ‘national church’ honours Wesley with plaque

WASHINGTON – Three hundred years ago, a young Anglican minister crossed the Atlantic Ocean to serve in the English colonies, with dreams of evangelising the native people and settlers in what today is the state of Georgia.

Two years later, he was back on a boat to England, believing he had failed. Shortly after returning home, he attended a Moravian prayer meeting where he gained a personal understanding of Christ’s saving power and felt his heart “strangely warmed”. The experience transformed John Wesley and catalysed what became the Methodist movement.

Wesley’s impact – particularly his service in the colonies – was remembered on Nov 2 last year with the installation of a plaque at Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church in Washington. The church was designated as “the connectional monument to our beloved Methodism” by the 1852 General Conference of the Methodist Church.

The marble plaque, with black lettering, commemorated the 300th anniversary of Wesley’s birth on June 28, 1703, and his service in North America from 1736 to 1738. The inscription includes his words of assurance, spoken on his deathbed: “The best of all, God is with us.”

About 70 bishops and their spouses attended the ceremony. – United Methodist News Service.