Strawbridge, Robert
c.1732 - 1781

One of the earliest Methodist preachers in America, Strawbridge was born in the townland of Gortconnellan, Drumsna, near Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim and is thought to have been a convert of Laurence Coughlan.He began preaching in that neighbourhood and then in and around Sligo, Kilmore and Terryhugan. He probably began administering the Sacrament even before leaving for America. Possibly as early as 1760 he emigrated to America, and from his farm in Frederick County, Md., began preaching and organizing classes in both Maryland and North-eastern Virginia. It remains a matter of dispute whether his societies or the one in New York (which later built the first John Street church) represented the beginnings of American Methodism. Strawbridge was an individualist as is exemplified by his insistence on administering the Sacraments and his absence from the first conference of Methodist preachers, which met in Philadelphia in 1773. He died in the summer of 1781 and was eventually reinterred near Francis Asbury in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Baltimore.

Entry written by: JRWW
Category: Person
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