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Pioneering Methodist leader arrives in America – Aug. 10, 1760

Philip Embury
Philip Embury (1729-1775), an Irish-American preacher considered one of the founders of Methodism in America. |

This week marks the anniversary of when Philip Embury, an Irish preacher credited with helping to found the first Wesleyan church in North America, arrived in British colonial America.

A native of Ireland whose father was a German immigrant, Embury and his family set sail for North America in June for business reasons, arriving in New York City.

However, while there, Embury became a preacher and along with other immigrant Methodists, purchased land that reportedly became the first Wesleyan chapel in British North America.

“This was the first chapel in the world to be named after John Wesley,” noted the Dictionary of Irish Biography. “Embury is reputed to have constructed the pulpit, and he and Paul Heck also carried out other interior woodwork.”

“On 30 October 1768 he preached his first formal sermon there. The Emburys moved into an old Dutch-style house on the property, which was then used as a parsonage.”

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