On Wednesday, September 4, 1771, Francis Asbury set sail "from a port near Bristol," as he recorded in his journal, to "visit" America. After more than 7 weeks at sea, Asbury landed in Philadelphia on October 27.
In 2021, Methodists in England and the United States will commemorate the 250th anniversary of Asbury's crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, and the man who dedicated his life to inviting others to love and serve Christ.
The Launch: Bristol Events
Celebrations will begin with events hosted by the British Methodist Church at the New Room in Bristol. It was there where John Wesley affirmed Asbury's call to go to America.
- Saturday, September 11 (7:30pm BST / 2:30pm EST): The New Room will host a concert by Magpie22, a Bristol band specializing in Americana music. Their specially selected songs will celebrate the partnership with the U.S. This is open to the public.
- Sunday, September 12 (3pm BST / 10am EST): A special service will look at Asbury's call, his response, and the cost of following that call. The service is invitation only (due to social distancing restrictions), but others will be able to participate via livestream.
To learn more about these events and more, visit "Francis Asbury - Responding to Call" by The Methodist Church of Britain.
Read coverage of the Bristol events by United Methodist News.
The Landing: Philadelphia Events
The celebration continues at Historic St. George’s United Methodist Church in Philadelphia, where Asbury landed and was welcomed by the American Methodists.
- Saturday, October 30: The United Methodist Church will host a banquet at Historic St. George’s featuring a keynote address by John Wigger, noted historian and author of American Saint: Francis Asbury and the Methodists.
- Sunday, October 31: Historic St. George's will host a special, commemorative worship service. Sermon by Bishop John Schol, Philadelphia Area. Eucharist celebrated by Bishop Cynthia Fiero Harvey, President UMC Council of Bishops.
- October 1 thru December 31, 2021: Francis Asbury Archival Exhibit at Historic St. George’s UMC.
For more information about the events in the U.S., visit "Celebrating Asbury’s Voyage to the Americas 250 Years Ago" by The General Commission on Archives & History of The United Methodist Church.