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This Day in Georgia History

June 17, 1703

John Wesley Born

To view an image of John Wesley, see the Digital Library of Georgia.

Methodism founder John Wesley was born in Epworth, England. In October 1735 he and brother Charles sailed for Georgia as Anglican ministers for the new colony. John’s stay in Georgia would prove unhappy years. First, he had hoped to become a missionary to the Indians, but James Oglethorpe had him serve the colonists instead. Second, he fell in love with Sophy Hopkey and sought her hand in marriage. After she turned him down and married another man, John refused to administer communion to Sophy, leading her new husband to file charges against him. In December 1737, John Wesley would sail from Georgia for England, where he launched a traveling ministry that developed into a movement that became known as Methodism.