Hosier, Harry 
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Time Period
1750  - 1806
Harry Hosier was born into slavery into the South and later converted to Methodism. The first clear reference to Hosier was in Francis Asbury’s 1780 journal entry. Asbury, the father of American Methodism, already considered him a potentially important evangelist for the Methodists, and they traveled together on horseback as circuit riders.

Hosier captivated both black and white audiences with his preaching abilities. Asbury claimed that the best way to attract large audiences was to have Hosier speak. Despite being illiterate, he could recite Bible verses from memory and make powerful observations. Renowned physician Benjamin Rush viewed him as the greatest orator in America, while Thomas Coke, John Wesley’s representative, declared Hosier "one of the best preachers in the world."

Despite never being officially ordained, Hosier’s ministry remained fundamental in the growth of American Methodism.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Race/Ethnicity and Religion
Methodist Religious Events and People in American History
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Race/Ethnicity and Religion in American History
Methodist Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Methodist/Pietist Family: Other ARDA Links


Harry Hosier portrait, cropped from The Ordination of Bishop Asbury- Wikimedia Commons
Book/Journal Source(s)
Murphy, Larry, J. Gordon Melton, and Gary Ward, 1993. Encyclopedia of African American Religions. New York: Garland.
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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