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A Pentecostal Season: The Methodists in England and America, Part 1

Many scholars and historians would rather it be forgotten that early Methodism was marked by the supernatural intervention of God.

History is not just collecting facts, but arranging facts (and leaving out others) to tell a story. This book on the supernatural among the Methodists does not tell the whole story of the ministry of Wesley and the Methodists, it brings to the fore facts that support the theme that there was (and is) a supernatural thread in the fabric of Methodism.

John Wigger, in his book Taking Heaven By Storm: Methodism and the Rise of Popular Christianity in America wrote: “In fact, it may not be an exaggeration to say that this quest for the supernatural in everyday life … was the key theological characteristic of early American Methodism,” (p.110) and he goes on to say: “While early American Methodism cannot be reduced to enthusiasm, neither can it be understood without it. …visions, dreams, and supernatural impressions not only held deep religious meaning but also served to validate the Methodist system. This kind of militant supernaturalism formed an integral part of the Methodist message in every region of the post-revolutionary United States.”[39]


Part 2 continues in the Fall 2018 issue:

George Whitefield; Francis Asbury; Thomas Rankin; Manifestations among the Evangelicals and United Brethren; Methodist Local Pastors and Lay Preachers; and Methodists and Healing  

This excerpt from The Supernatural Thread in Methodism: Signs and Wonders Among Methodists Then and Now (Creation House, 2013) is used with permission.



[Editor’s Note: Please see ​The Supernatural Thread in Methodism for complete footnotes. Dr. Billman has also graciously provided a Bibliography covering all citations in this excerpt.]

[1] Randy Clark, There Is More!: The Secret to Experiencing God’s Power to Change Your Life (Mechanicsburg, PA: Global Awakening, 2006), 85. Global Awakening has reprinted the original Mary Crawford book.

[2] Works, I, 170.

[3] Schmitt, Floods, 128.

[4] Works, I, 187.

[5]Ibid., 188.

[6] Ibid., 189.

[7] Ibid., 189-90.

[8] Wesley, Works II, 418

[9] Ibid., 499

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid., 506-507.

[12] Wesley, Works, III, 106.

[13] Wesley, Works, IV, 288.

[14] Wesley, Works, I, 271

[15] Wesley, Works, IX, 27.

[16] Wesley, Works, VIII, Principles of a Methodist Farther Explained, 465.

[17] Wesley, Works, II, 204.

[18] Wesley, Works, VII, Sermon 89: The More Excellent Way,. 26-27.

[19] Laurence Wood, The Meaning of Pentecost in Early Methodism, (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2002), 195.

[20] Wesley, Works, X, Letter to the Rev. Dr. Middleton, 56.

[21] Quoted in, Eddie Hyatt, 2000 Years, 104.

[22] Wesley, Works, VI, p.322.

[23] Quoted in Vinson Synan, The Century of the Holy Spirit, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson. 2001), 25-26.

[24] John Wigger, Taking Heaven by Storm, (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1998), 185.

[25] John Cennick, “An Account of the Most Remarkable Occurrences in the Awakenings at Bristol and Kingswood,” The Moravian Messenger, Vol. 16; cited in Arnold A. Dallimore, George Whitefield, Vol. 1, (London: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1970), 326.

[26] Wood, Pentecost, 191.

[27] Wesley, Works, II, 519.

[28] Wesley, Works, I, 204.

[29] Ibid., 195-196.

[30] Quoted in Arnold Lunn, John Wesley, (New York: The Dial Press, 1929), 138.

[31] Wesley, Works, I, 210.

[32] Crowder, Ecstasy, 164.

[33] Ibid., 165.

[34] Ibid., 267.

[35] Crowder, Mystics, 89.

[36] Wesley, Works, II, 510.

[37] Ann Taves, Fits, 57.

[38] Taves, Fits, 74.

[39] Wigger, Heaven, 123

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Category: Church History, Summer 2018

About the Author: Frank H. Billman, B.A. (Houghton College), M.Div. (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), Th.M. (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), D.Min. (Eastern Baptist [now Palmer] Theological Seminary), is an educator, pastor, author, and international speaker. He is currently leading the doctor of ministry program in supernatural ministry at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. While on the staff of Aldersgate Renewal Ministries for 12 years, he led workshops, local and regional renewal events, was supervisor for International Ministries, Methodist School of Supernatural Ministries, and Supernatural Ministry Intensives, and was a general session speaker at the national conferences. In addition to numerous articles, he is the author of Shepherding Renewal (Aldersgate Renewal Ministries, 2011), and The Supernatural Thread in Methodism: Signs and Wonders Among Methodists Then and Now (Creation House, 2013).

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