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"First Methodist Sermon in America" - - by Rev. Weldon Bares

Have you ever heard of Philip Embury? He was born in Ireland and became a Christian when he was a young person. Before long, he was preaching about Christ in the villages near his home. Several years later, he immigrated to America, arriving in New York on August 10, 1760.

Philip was a Methodist, but very few Methodists were in America at that time, and none could be found in New York. He started working as a teacher and a carpenter. In the process, he neglected doing the Lord’s work.

But then one day an elderly woman by the name of Barbara Heck spoke to him, and told him that he must preach to those around him, because their eternal destiny depended upon it. He later said that her words fell on him like “the sound of the archangel’s trumpet.”

He pointed out that he had no place to preach. Barbara told him to use his own house. He decided to do that very thing. Five people showed up on the first Sunday and Philip preached to them. Some claim that this was the first Methodist sermon in America.

His story reminds us that believers are called to share the good news of Christ with those around us, whatever the circumstances, where ever we might find ourselves. The Apostle Paul encouraged us to, “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season.” (II Timothy 4:2)

Philip Embury and Barbara Heck have shown us the way!

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