John Wesley preaches at his home church



John Wesley had his “Heart Warming Experience” on May 24, 1738, on Aldersgate Street in London at a German prayer meeting. It transformed his understanding of salvation. Soon he was preaching all across England and Scotland in churches, parks, and wherever a crowd could gather. 

He returned to Epworth, his home town, and attended St. Andrew Church, his home church. His father, Samuel served this church for 39 years. John was baptized in St. Andrew Church. He offered to preach there, but the rector who had replaced John’s father said, “No!” So John worshipped in the pew. The pastor preached against “Enthusiasm.” The sermon was directed at John Wesley.

At the conclusion of worship, a friend announced that Rev. John Wesley would be preaching in the afternoon in the church cemetery. That afternoon a large crowd gathered. John climbed atop his father’s grave which was an elevated tomb. He proclaimed the good news of God’s love and forgiveness in Jesus Christ.

John preached there for two weeks to large and increasing crowds. He said that he did more good in those two weeks at Epworth than he had done in the two years he had served with his father earlier. He said the reason was that when he was there earlier, before his Aldersgate Experience, he did not think the people had any need to repent.

How many of us today have forgotten how to call people to repentance and faith?