Religion: Asbury in the Great Smokies

At 14, Francis Asbury, a British harness maker's apprentice, decided to become a preacher. At 26, he came to America. During the 1784 Baltimore conference, where the Methodist Episcopal Church was formed, Preacher Asbury, as yet unordained, was on successive days ordained deacon, elder, consecrated "superintendent" and (despite John Wesley's "strong objections) immediately started calling himself Bishop.

Forthwith the Bishop packed his saddlebags, got on his horse and headed for the frontier—traveling some 275,000 miles over wilderness trails in the southeast, often going hungry and sleeping on the ground.

One spot where early Methodists...

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