Translate Page

Dear Mother: A Letter From John Wesley

The Pitts Theological Library on the campus of Emory University houses a collection of close to 100 letters written by John Wesley. This correspondence to fellow preachers, friends, and family provides insight into the personal life and spiritual journey of Methodism's founder.

View more at

(Locator: Atlanta, Georgia)

(Narrator reads John Wesley letter) "Dear mother…"

Brandon Wason, Curator, Candler School of Theology, Pitts Library: "We have about 100 letters of John Wesley here at Pitts Theology Library. This was written to John Wesley's mother Susanna Wesley."

Curator Brandon Wason says one of the treasured archives at Emory University is a letter penned by Methodism's founder.

On July 6, 1738, not long after arriving at his destination, John Wesley sat down to send a message to his mom.

(Narrator reads from John Wesley letter) "Dear Mother, Soon after I had finished my last to you, we left Cologne in the passage boat, and traveled slowly four days upon the Rhine…"

Brandon Wason: "In this letter he talks about his travels to Germany."

(Narrator reads from John Wesley letter) "…a double range of rocks and mountains, diversified with more variety than ever [a] painter could imagine…"

Brandon Wason: "…and he talks about the community there."

(Narrator reads from John Wesley letter) "Eighty-eight of them praised God with one heart and one mouth."

Brandon Wason: "The letter's tone is rather warm."

Reading Wesley's notes gives us a picture of who he was, and what mattered to him.

(Narrator reads from John Wesley letter) "See how these Christians love one another. Yea, how they love all who have the faintest desire to love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity!"

Wesley closes by asking Susanna to pray that he might receive that same spirit of love for Jesus and one another.

(Narrator reads from John Wesley letter) "Dear mother, forget not often to desire this for your dutiful and affectionate son, John Wesley."

Yes, even in a message to his mother, he signs his full name—John Wesley.

For more information about the collection at Pitts Theological Library, call 404-727-4166.

This video was produced by United Methodist Communications in Nashville, TN.
Media contact is Joe Iovino.

This video was first posted on April 10, 2018.

United Methodist Communications is an agency of The United Methodist Church

©2023 United Methodist Communications. All Rights Reserved