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1728-1773. Probably the first Methodist minister in America. Born in Ireland of a German Palatinate refugee family, he was a carpenter by trade. 's preaching led to his conversion in 1752, and he became a local preacher in Ireland six years later. He migrated to New York City in 1760. * encouraged him to preach to migrants who were spiritually careless, and he did this in a meeting in his own home in 1766. He erected a chapel in New York in 1768. He later moved to Camden, New York, where he worked as a carpenter and preached on Sundays until his early death on the farm.