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American Methodist Churches

Though [[John Wesley]]* had served as a missionary in Georgia (1736-38) before his Aldersgate experience, and [[George Whitefield]]* had after 1740 visited America several times during the Great Awakening,* Methodism as such was brought to America in the 1760s by unofficial lay preachers. Among these were Irishman Robert Strawbridge who worked in Maryland and surrounding areas, [[Philip Embury]],* and Captain Thomas Webb, a British officer who reinforced the society in New York and planted Methodism in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. In 1768 Wesley sent the first two official missionaries, Joseph Pilmoor and Richard Boardman. In 1771 came [[Francis Asbury]],* later the greatest leader of American Methodism, and Richard Wright. They were followed in 1773 by Thomas Rankin and George Shadford. That year saw the first American conference at St. George's Church, Philadelphia. The South proved particularly receptive to Methodism, and in Virginia, where Methodists worked with Anglican