The Circuit Rider
Francis Asbury

Bishop Francis Asbury (1745-1816) was the Founding Father of the American Methodist Church. Born in England, he came to America in 1771 and never returned. Throughout his 50-year ministry as a circuit rider, he traveled over a quarter-million miles on horseback, preaching over 16,000 sermons.

On Sunday, February 3, 1793, Francis Asbury preached at the Black Swamp Methodist Church. His text was from 2nd Corinthians, Chapter 3, Verse 9, and "the subject was pointed and the people were attentive".  According to his journal, the day before he crossed the Savannah River at Sister's Ferry coming from Savannah, and "he came on to Black Swamp and in the dark got pretty well scratched by the trees".
Asbury's ministry coincided with the Great Religious Awakening after the American Reveloution when settlers of many denominations arrived and the Episcopal (Tory) Church was in disfavor. Due in part to his influence and leadership, the American Methodist Church expanded to become one of the most important Protestant denominations in the United States.