Student Research Projects

The Methodist Slaves: Francis Asbury and The Methodist Crisis

Student Dejha Crudup ‘14
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Religious Studies
Course Religious Studies 326: Methodism


This paper explores the dilemma that the early Methodist movement faced on the issue of slavery in the United States. John Wesley, Francis Asbury, and many other prominent leaders were against slavery and slave owners being allowed in the Methodist church. They even connected with slaves, both freed and enslaved, getting to know their stories and allowing a few of them to preach and be a part of the Methodist movement in America. This paper outlines Asbury’s journey to keep slavery out of the church while connecting with slaves. One person in particular was Harry Hosier, a former slave, who traveled with Asbury frequently and preached the word of God throughout the Americas. However, the desire to completely leave slavery out of the church was not completed or carried out for long. Even though the fathers of Methodism had a great relationship with former slaves and saw slavery as completely against God, the culture of slavery overshadowed this small movement.