In 1771, Francis Asbury, the Wesley of America, crossed the Atlantic. Methodism grew rapidly, and it became essential to provide its people with the sacraments.
Some held that it forbade the administration of the sacraments except where they were already permitted; others maintained that it left Methodism free to follow the leadings of Providence as Wesley had always done.
The intention was to make American Methodism a facsimile of that in England, subject to Wesley and the British Conference-a society and not a Church.
Grave disorders had arisen in the society at Fetter Lane, and on the 25th of July 1740 Wesley withdrew from it.
Some comments by Wesley upon Toplady's presentation of Calvinism led to a controversy which was carried on with much bitterness on both sides.
As the work advanced Wesley held a conference at the Foundery in 1744.
In 1743 Wesley secured a west-end centre at West Street, Seven Dials, which for fifty years had a wonderful history.
The Methodist Episcopal Church maintains Wesley College near Grand Forks (formerly the Red River Valley University at Wahpeton), affiliated with the state university.
The Wesleyan Methodists now represent the original body as founded by John Wesley in Great Britain and Ireland; but in America those who looked upon him as their founder adopted the episcopal mode of Church government after the War of Independence, and have since that time been known as Episcopal Methodists (see below).
See also METHODISM, and the articles on the separate Methodist bodies; see also WESLEY FAMILY (J.