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Budget Containing the Status of Methodism at the Second Ecumenical Conference of Methodism
			
 20          STATUS OF METHODISM AND CHRISTIANITY.

and when question twelve was asked: Who have died this year? The
answer was John Charlston, who departed this life in the full triumph
of faith.  This is the record ot the first colored boy who was convert-
ed in the first Sabbath school organized by Bishop Asbury in 1787.
      I am pleased to learn by the Centennial History of American
Methodism, by John Atkinson, 1884, beginning page 174, 176, 177,
that there is no doubt but that John Charleston was the first Sunday-
school convert in America, and that he is the identical Rev.  John
Charleston who died in 1839, a member of the Ohio Annual Confer-
ence of the A. M. E. Church, as the following record will show:
     "A Methodist Sunday School was held in the house of Thomas
Crenshaw, in Virginia, as early as 1786, and it is affirmed that "the
first Sabbath School ever established in America was organized under
the direction of Bishop Asbury and the preachers in connection with
him, for the benefit of the Slaves of the South."  * It is probable that
this was the Sunday School which was conducted at the house of Mr.
Crenshaw.
     A colored pupil, John Charleston, was converted in Crenshaw's
school, and became a devout and successful preacher.  Charleston
was quite a hero.
    The Rev. Stith Mead, who was his friend and benefactor, de-
scribes him thus: "I took with me, around my circuit, the last time, an
African preacher, named John Charleston, a man whose liberty I had
been instrumental in obtaining by soliciting contributions for that
purpose betwean the years 1805 and 1809.  This African brother has
endured the test of Methodist scrutiny during a period of forty-one
years, and has been a preacher of no ordinary rank for thirty-nine
years. He was ordained a deacon by Bishop M' Kendree soon after
his liberation from slavery.  His conversion took place in a Sabbath
School, kept by Thomas Crenshaw, who is yet living, and has been a
Methodist half a century.
    It was at Mr. Crenshaw's house, in Hanover County, that the
Rev. F. Garrettson found an Asylum in the Revolutionary war, when
the British were plundering the country.
    The Rev. John Charleston is now in his sixty-first year, jet black,
"First Annual Report of the Sunday School Union of the Methodist Episcopal Church in
"Methodist Magazine," 1828.




			
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OHS/National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center Pamphlet Collection

Budget Containing the Status of Methodism at the Second Ecumenical Conference of Methodism


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