On This Day

Methodist in History

Historical Events

  • 1736-02-05 Methodists John and Charles Wesley arrive in Savannah, Georgia

Historic Event

1738-05-24 John Wesley is converted, launching the Methodist movement; celebrated annually by Methodists as Aldersgate Day

  • 1768-10-30 First Methodist church in North American colonies initiated (Wesley Chapel, NYC)
  • 1784-02-28 John Wesley charters Methodist Church
  • 1794-03-03 Richard Allen founded African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • 1794-06-10 Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia forms
  • 1796-03-28 Bethel African Methodist Church of Philadelphia is 1st US-African church
  • 1796-08-23 African Methodist Episcopal Church incorporated
  • 1816-04-09 African Methodist Episcopal Church organizes (Philadelphia)
  • 1821-03-14 African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church founded (NY)
  • 1821-06-21 African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church organizes (NYC)
  • 1822-07-30 James Varick becomes 1st bishop of African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
  • 1852-08-01 San Francisco Methodists establish 1st black church, Zion Methodist

A Salute To The Salvation Army

1865-07-02 One-time Methodist Reform Church minister William Booth and his wife Catherine found the East London Christian Mission, now known as the Salvation Army

  • 1888-11-14 USC Trojans (then Methodists) play their 1st football game
  • 1890-12-16 Negro Methodist Episcopal Church founded in Jackson, TN
  • 1915-09-22 Southern Methodist University (Dallas, Texas) holds its 1st class
  • 1925-06-10 Inaugural service for the United Church of Canada, a union of Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregationalist churches held in Toronto Arena
  • 1926-07-20 A convention of the Methodist Church votes to allow women to become priests.
  • 1956-05-02 US Methodist church disallows racial separation
  • 1964-06-25 Prince A Taylor becomes first African American methodist bishop (NJ)
  • 1966-11-11 Methodist Church & Evangelical United Brethren Church unite as United Methodist Church (USA)
  • 1968-04-23 United Methodist Church forms
  • 1968-09-28 Chuck Hixson (Southern Methodist) completes 37 of record 69 passes
  • 2015-06-03 Dr. Jesse Selber performs the world's first partial-skull and scalp transplant at Houston Methodist Hospital
  • 2017-12-17 Terrorist suicide attack on a Methodist church in Quetta, Pakistan kills nine

Famous Birthdays

John Wesley

1703-06-28 John Wesley, English Christian theologian and co-founder of the Methodist movement, born in Epworth, England (d. 1791)

  • 1707-12-18 Charles Wesley, English Methodist leader (brother of John Wesley) and hymn writer (Hark! The Herald Angels Sing), born in Epworth, England (d. 1788)

George Whitefield

1714-12-16 George Whitefield, English-born Methodist leader and preacher, born in Gloucester, England (d. 1770)

  • 1760-02-14 Richard Allen, 1st African American ordained by Methodist-Episcopal church, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1831)
  • 1768-01-10 James Varicick, founder and first bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, born in Newburgh, New York (d. 1827)
  • 1816-04-17 Thomas Hazlehurst, English Methodist chapel builder, born in Runcorn, Cheshire, England (d. 1876)
  • 1833-02-01 Henry McNeal Turner, Newberry South Carolina, Minister and politician, 1st African American Methodist Bishop (d. 1915)
  • 1906-01-03 Doc Hayes, American basketball coach (Southern Methodist University 1947-67), born in Krum, Texas (d. 1973)
  • 1909-11-29 Rupert Davies, British Methodist scholar, born in London, England (d. 1994)
  • 1911-12-06 Alfred James Broomhall, British Protestant Christian medical missionary to China, born in Shandong, China (d. 1994)
  • 1920-03-05 Leontine Tg Kelly, 1st African American female bishop (Methodist)
  • 1933-10-25 Bobby Collins Jr., American college football coach (head coach University of Southern Mississippi; Southern Methodist University), born in Laurel, Mississippi (d. 2021)
  • 1936-03-08 Sonny Allen, American basketball coach (ODU, Southern Methodist University, University of Nevada, Reno; WNBA Sacramento Monarchs), born in Moundsville, West Virginia (d. 2020)
  • 1938-02-24 Kathleen Richardson, president (Methodist Conference)
  • 1945-06-23 K B Wilson, methodist Preacher/Principal (Westminster College Oxford)
  • 1958-07-02 Thomas Bickerton, American Methodist bishop

Famous Weddings

Clark Gable

1939-03-29 "Gone With The Wind" actor Clark Gable (37) weds actress Carole Lombard (30) at the rectory of Saint John's Methodist Episcopal Church in Kingman, Arizona

Shirley Temple

1945-09-19 Actress Shirley Temple (17) weds actor John Agar (24) in an Episcopal ceremony at Wilshire Methodist Church

Robert Wagner

1957-12-28 "Rebel Without A Cause" actress Natalie Wood (19) weds American actor Robert Wagner (27) at Scottsdale United Methodist Church in Scottsdale, Arizona; divorce in 1962;, and remarry in 1972

Rod Taylor

1963-06-01 Australian actor Rod Taylor (33) weds model Mary Hilem (25) at Westwood Community Methodist Church in Hollywood, California; divorce in 1969

  • 1975-06-07 Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard (21) weds Cheryl Alley (21) at Magnolia Park United Methodist Church in Burbank, California

Wedding of Interest

1975-10-11 Future US President Bill Clinton (29) weds future US Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham (28) in a Methodist ceremony in their living room in Fayetteville, Arkansas

Rush Limbaugh

1977-09-24 Radio personality Rush Limbaugh (26) weds Roxy McNeely, a radio advertising salesperson, at Centenary United Methodist Church in Cape Girardeau, Missouri; divorced 1980

George W. Bush

1977-11-05 Future Texas governor and 43rd US President George W. Bush (31) weds Laura Welch (31) at The First United Methodist Church in Midland, Texas

Cal Ripken Jr

1987-11-13 MLB baseball player Cal Ripken Jr (27) weds Kelly Geer at Towson United Methodist Church in Maryland

Zina Garrison

1989-09-23 Tennis Ace Zina Garrison (25) weds businessman Willard Jackson (25) at the Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston

  • 1997-10-11 "Charlie's Angels" actress Jaclyn Smith (52) weds Chicago heart surgeon Bradley Allen (43) at United Westwood Methodist Church
  • 1998-08-29 "Baywatch" actress Traci Bingham (30) weds Robb Vallier at First United Methodist Church in Ames, Iowa
  • 2001-11-10 "Four Weddings and A Funeral" actress Andie MacDowell (43) weds businessman Rhett Hartzog (42) at Central United Methodist Church in Asheville, North Carolina
  • 2005-07-30 Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph (49) weds Pennsylvania Senator Vincent Hughes (48) at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles

Marion Jones

2007-02-24 Former world champion track and field athlete Marion Jones (31) weds Olympic bronze medalist Obadele Thompson (30) at the Union Hill African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilson's Mills, North Carolina


Famous Deaths

George Whitefield

1770-09-30 George Whitefield, English-born Methodist leader and preacher, dies in Newburyport, Massachusetts, at age 55

  • 1804-08-17 Barbara Heck, Irish born North American colonist, organized 1st Methodist church in US in NY, dies (b. 1734)
  • 1831-03-26 Richard Allen, 1st African American ordained by Methodist-Episcopal church, dies at 71
  • 1876-07-14 Thomas Hazlehurst, English Methodist chapel builder, dies at 60
  • 1902-11-17 Hugh Price Hughes, Welsh Methodist Social reformer, dies at 55
  • 1915-05-08 Henry McNeal Turner, 1 African American Methodist Bishop and 1st African American army chaplain, dies at 82
  • 1918-05-03 Charlie Soong, Chinese Methodist missionary and key player in the Xinhai Revolution of 1911, dies at 55
  • 1973-02-26 Doc Hayes, American basketball coach (Southern Methodist University 1947-67), dies in an auto accident at 67
  • 1994-05-11 Alfred James Broomhall, British Protestant Christian medical missionary to China, dies at 82
  • 1994-07-04 Rupert Davies, English methodist scholar, dies at 84
  • 1995-10-22 K B Wilson, methodist principal (Westminster College), dies at 50
  • 2008-12-02 Kathleen Baskin-Ball, American United Methodist Pastor
  • 2020-09-11 Sonny Allen, American basketball coach (ODU, Southern Methodist University, University of Nevada, Reno; WNBA Sacramento Monarchs), dies of Parkinson's Disease at 84
  • 2021-11-15 Bobby Collins Jr., American college football coach (head coach University of Southern Mississippi; Southern Methodist University), dies at 88