John Wesley's Preachers
A Social and Statistical Analysis of the British and Irish Preachers Who Entered the Methodist Itinerancy before 1791
Imprint: Wipf and Stock
"John Lenton is to be highly commended for this most comprehensive and exhaustive examination of the early Methodist preachers to date. No serious scholar of early Methodism should be without this encyclopaedic work that will be of critical importance for many years to come."
--Paul W. Chilcote, Professor of Historical Theology and Wesleyan Studies, Director of the Center for Applied Wesleyan Studies, Ashland Theological Seminary
"Moving the historical analysis away from the study of Wesley himself to a proper appreciation of the crucial role of the lay preachers, this will be a vital resource for those interested in the spread of early Methodism."
--Jeremy Gregory, Senior Lecturer, The University of Manchester
"A thoroughly scholarly work which frequently added to my knowledge and challenged my assumptions. On the preachers he draws on a mass of primary material and this and his systematic analysis produces a work which renders all previous (and imperfect) treatments obsolete. It sets a standard which one cannot imagine being superseded or even revised for years to come."
--Henry Rack, University of Manchester
"This book offers a fresh approach to the study of early Methodism. Through a detailed analysis of the 800 mainly lay men who served Methodism in the lifetime of John Wesley, John Lenton goes beyond the leader on horseback to do justice to the officers in the field who sustained and developed Wesley's work week by week as they proceeded on horse or on foot around the smaller circuits marked out for their preaching tours. Who these men were, where they came from, how and where they operated, how they married, worked, retired and died, are questions tackled systematically and quantitatively. Their story is here told in a manner which both does justice to their labors and opens up for the reader a new understanding of what Methodism was and how it spread."
--Edward Royle, Emeritus Professor of History, University of York
"The lay preachers employed by John Wesley played a vital part in the growth of early Methodism. Treatment of them has been largely anecdotal. Their varied social, educational, and religious background have not hitherto been analyzed in the way in which John Lenton has examined them in this detailed study."
--John A. Vickers, Editor, Dictionary of Methodism