Several years ago I did research on the class meeting for a seminary class and discovered a fascinating topic. I will write about that later, but for now, on this day, February 15, 1742, John Wesley met with members of the Methodist society in Bristol who owed money. Captain Foy suggested that each member give a penny a week until the debt was paid back. But in that area, the majority of the Methodists were poor. And some of them said that it would be too much for them to pay even a penny a week. Foy said he would pay for those who were unable to.
This formed the basis of the Methodist It became a sort of class meeting, for prayer and accountability. Individuals could only attend the class meeting if they were on good behavior. Wesley described the forming of the class meeting, before he realized that it would become one of the pillars of the Methodist movement.
“Many met together to consult on a proper method for discharging the public debt; it was at length agreed:
1. Every member of the society, who was able, should contribute a penny a week.
2. The whole society should be divided into little companies or classes—about twelve in each class.
3. One person in each class should receive the contribution of the rest and bring it in to the stewards weekly.”