John Wesley (/ˈwɛsli/; 28 June [O.S. 17 June] 1703 – 2 March 1791) was an English cleric, theologian and evangelist who was a leader of a revival movement within the Church of England known as Methodism. The societies he founded became the dominant form of the independent Methodist movement that continues to this day.
Educated at Charterhouse and Christ Church, Oxford, Wesley was elected a fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford in 1726 and ordained as an Anglican priest two years later. He led the “Holy Club”, a society formed for the purpose of the study and the pursuit of a devout Christian life; it had been founded by his brother, Charles, and counted George Whitefield among its members. After an unsuccessful ministry of two years at Savannah, serving at Christ Church, in the Georgia Colony, Wesley returned to London and joined a religious society led by Moravian Christians. On 24 May 1738, he experienced what has come to be called his evangelical conversion, when he felt his “heart strangely warmed”. He subsequently left the Moravians, beginning his own ministry.