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In Their Own Words

September 11, 1736

Wesley Letter on Troubled Georgia Ministry

From Savannah, Anglican minister John Wesley wrote Trustee James Vernon in London about the problems of doing missionary work with Georgia’s Indians - particularly the Chickasaws - while also serving the religious needs of the English colonists:

“What will become of this poor people [Chickasaws], a few of whom now see the light and bless God for it, when I am called from among them I know not. Nor indeed what will become of them while I am here. For the work is too weighty for me. A parish of above 200 miles in length laughs at the labour of one man. Savannah alone would give constant employment for five or six to instruct, rebuke and exhort as need requires. Neither durst I advise any single person to take charge of Frederica or indeed to exercise his ministry there at all. Unless he was an experienced soldier of Jesus Christ that could rejoice in reproaches, persecution, distresses for Christ’s sake. I bless God for what little of them I have met with there and doubt not but they were sent for my soul’s health. My heart’s desire for this place is, not that it may be a famous or a rich, but that it may be a religious colony. And then I am sure it cannot fail of the blessing of God, which includes all real goods, temporal and eternal.”

Source: Mills Lane (ed.), General Oglethorpe’s Georgia: Colonial Letters, 1733-1743 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), Vol. I, pp. 277-278.