On Feb. 6, 1736, after sailing four months to get from England to America, John Wesley, Charles Wesley, General Oglethorpe, and others landed on Cockspur Island off the coast of Savannah. A monument marks the location.
“One of the things we learn historically is that none of what Wesley really thought was going happen actually happened,” Bishop Bryan said in a video from Fort Pulaski, erected on the site where Wesley and the others landed. “In his diary, on the way back to England, Wesley called himself a fair-weather Christian. This is a very dejected John Wesley.”
But, Bishop Bryan said, John Wesley’s experience can remind people that, no matter one’s circumstances, God is always present and at work.
Not long after Wesley experiences in Georgia, he returned home to England, had his Aldersgate experience, and wrote, “I found my heart strangely warmed.”
“What Wesley’s story teaches us is that God is at work. God was powerfully at work in John Wesley’s life,” Bishop Bryan said. “Let us be confident as United Methodists, that in whatever time, in whatever season, whatever may be occurring in our lives, we can stand right here, with our feet where Wesley stood, and we can stand with John Wesley, in the confidence that God is at work in our lives, that we are headed toward the kind of heartwarming experiences that will renew and refresh us for God’s service.”
Every Feb. 6 – and the Sunday before and the Sunday after – Bishop Bryan asks each South Georgia United Methodist to remember how God worked in John Wesley’s life.
“I invite us to remember in our congregations, in our worship, and in our lives personally, the confidence of the story of John Wesley and how God was involved when Wesley didn’t even know it, and how it can bring confidence to us,” Bishop Bryan said.
“In the South Georgia Conference, we move forward in the confidence that what God started here in 1736 God is going to continue in each of our lives, and may we also invite others to join us in this Wesleyan United Methodist journey, living confidently as children of God.”
Watch the video