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William McKendree

1757-1835. First American-born bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was converted at the age of twenty-nine and began preaching two years later with but scant formal education (he had previously been a small planter and an officer in the Revolution). He was first a helper on Mecklenburg's circuit, and in 1790 Bishop Francis Asbury* ordained him deacon, and in 1791 elder. Finally working closely with Asbury after nearly siding with the Republican Methodist schism, McKendree served on circuits for twenty years in Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, and parts of Illinois, Tennessee, and Mississippi. He was a leader in the Great Revival in the West. He was elected bishop in 1808 and served ably until his death in Tennessee.