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“M is for Methodists

“M is for Methodists. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, visited South Carolina three times in 1736 and 1737. He published his first hymnal in Charleston. When the Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1784, Bishop Francis Asbury came to the state and organized churches in Georgetown and Charleston. Methodist preaching emphasized equality before God and denounced the sins of the wealthy. The Second Great Awakening made Methodism a major religious force in South Carolina. Camp meetings came to the state in 1802 and helped spur denominational growth. Until late in the 19th Century, Methodists were the largest religious denomination in the state. When northern and southern Methodists reunited in 1938, black and white Methodists were placed in separate conferences. In 1972, after lengthy negotiations, the two Methodist conferences in South Carolina were united.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.