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Happy birthday, John Wesley!

July 06, 2021
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS
DAVE HANSON


It is June 17, 2021, as I sit down to write this John Wesley Moment – John Wesley’s 318th birthday. John was born in Epworth, England on June 17,1703 (the old, Julian calendar). You may notice that the present-day United Methodist official church calendar records Wesley’s birthday as June 28, which is the new/Gregorian calendar date.

By most accounts, John was Susanna and Rev. Samuel Wesley’s 16th of 19 children. As a matter of fact, “our” John Wesley was the fourth John Wesley in the Wesley family. His grandfather was named John Westley (notice the old spelling of the name). Susanna had a stillborn son named John Benjamin Wesley. Later she had twin boys which she named John and Benjamin Wesley. Both of them also died as infants. Only 10 of Susanna’s children lived to adulthood – three sons and seven daughters. All three of these sons became Church of England ministers: Samuel Jr., who was 15 years older, John, and Charles, who was four years younger than John.

Happy 318th Birthday, John Wesley: June 17 or June 28.

The Rev. Dave Hanson is a retired pastor and John Wesley scholar.

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