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

     John Charleston was, so far as appears, the first American Sunday-
school convert.
     Only a little more than five years after the Methodist Episcopal
Church was organized, Bishop Asbury held a Conference in the city
of Charleston, and on February 16, 1790, he wrote from that city to
his friend the Rev. Thomas Morrell:  "A  design for establishing
Sunday-schools for white and black children and adults is now before
the Conference."  The next day, namely, February 17, 1790, he says
in the Journal:  "Our Conference resolved on establishing Sunday-
schools for poor children, white and black." The great Sunday-
school idea was then in the initial stage of its development, and the
alert and sagacious Asbury helped to shape the growth of the power-
ful germ which Raikes planted and Wesley watered.
     Can it be shown that any other body of Christians in the United
States had adopted the Sunday-school when, early in 1790, under the
presidency of Bishop Asbury, the Charleston Conference  committed
American Methodism and American Christianity to that potential
movement!
     The first Sabbath-school in the United States outside of Metho-
dism, was not formed, so far as appears from any historical record,
until two years after John Charleston began to preach; hence the
Methodist Episcopal Church had a Sunday-school in operation four
years in advance of any religious sect in America.
     The next authoritative statement, probably, concerning the rise of
Sunday-schools, other than Methodist, on the American Continent, is
that published in the "Biblical Repository and Theological Review,"
in April, 1830.  It is affirmed that "in the year 1791 the first Sab-
path-school instituted in our country, as far as we can learn, was es-
tablished in Philadelphia.  A meeting composed of the Rt. Rev. Wil-
liam White, D. D., Dr. Benjamin Rush,  Dr. William Currier, Mr.
Thomas Mendenhall, Mr. Thomas P. Cope, Captain Nathaniel Fal-
coner, Mr. Sharpless and others, was held on the 19th of December,
1790, for the purpose of taking into consideration the establishment
of Sunday-schools in the city.
in the house of our aged brother, Thomas Crenshaw, now living in Hanover
County, Virginia, and in the following year--forty-one years ago--the Rev.
John Charleston was converted to God in that school."




			
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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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