Jabez Bunting

1779-1858. English Wesleyan Methodist. Son of a radical Manchester tailor, he was brought up as a Methodist and entered its ministry in 1799. He gradually achieved an unusual ascendancy over conference, which made him its secretary, president (four times), president of the theological institution, and secretary of the missionary society (which his enthusiasm had done much to form). A great organizer, he more than any other single figure determined the shape of Wesleyan Methodism over against the Church of England and the old Dissent; one effect was the loss of Methodists fearing his tendencies to centralism and ministerial dominance. His influence for political conservatism has probably been exaggerated. His opponents paid tribute to his sincerity, eloquence, and gift of prayer.