An Irish Presbyterian, born in Ulster, he renounced Calvinism after emigrating to the USA. He became an MEC preacher, widely known on both sides of the Atlantic as a travelling evangelist and revivalist. English Methodists differed sharply in their views on him, partly because he was independent of connexional discipline. His extravagant oratory contrasted with the more formal style of other preachers of the time. Conflict reached a peak in 1847 when he was denied the use of WM pulpits and premises. His revivalist preaching was a formative influence on John Innocent and the young William Booth. He died at Highland Park, NJ on 30 January 1891.