Author G M Best
A biography of the first Methodist lay preacher who became the apostle of Northern Ireland.
This is the first ever full-scale biography of John Cennick, who was an outstandingly successful eighteenth-century preacher and hymnwriter. The was the first layman to be used as a Methodist preacher by John Wesley and was a significant contributor to the success of Methodism in the Bristol area, especially Kingswood. He then became the deputy of George Whitefield, playing an important role both locally as ‘the apostle of Wiltshire’ and in London and elsewhere as the main leader of Calvinistic Methodism, working closely with the Welsh evangelist Howell Harris.
Upset by the dissensions within Methodism, he became first a member and then an ordained deacon within the Moravian Church. He travelled extensively across parts of England and Wales, but made his main focus Northern Ireland, where he established fifteen chapels, over forty religious societies and over two hundred preaching places. His story – and why John Wesley sought to erase his contribution – provides a real insight into the religious revival initiated by the Methodists and the Moravians.