On this date, March 31, 1816, Francis Asbury, bishop of American Methodism died. He had preached his last sermon just a week earlier.
One of Asbury’s greatest strengths was organization. He created districts of “churches” that would be visited by circuit riders. It is reported that he himself preached about over 16,000 sermons, or at least one a day, and traveled about 270,000 miles, or 6,000 a year and ordained 4,000 preachers. According to Methodist statistics, when he arrived in American, the Methodists had 10 preachers and 600 members. As he died, almost 45 years later, they had 695 preachers and 214,235 members.