The Supernatural and the Circuit Riders

The Supernatural and the Circuit Riders

Author: Rimi Xhemajli

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 9781725269217

Category: Religion

Page: 346

View: 115

In The Supernatural and the Circuit Riders, Rimi Xhemajli shows how a small but passionate movement grew and shook the religious world through astonishing signs and wonders. Beginning in the late eighteenth century, early American Methodist preachers, known as circuit riders, were appointed to evangelize the American frontier by presenting an experiential gospel: one that featured extraordinary phenomena that originated from God’s Spirit. In employing this evangelistic strategy of the gospel message fueled by supernatural displays, Methodism rapidly expanded. Despite beginning with only ten official circuit riders in the early 1770s, by the early 1830s, circuit riders had multiplied and caused Methodism to become the largest American denomination of its day. In investigating the significance of the supernatural in the circuit rider ministry, Xhemajli provides a new historical perspective through his eye-opening demonstration of the correlation between the supernatural and the explosive membership growth of early American Methodism, which fueled the Second Great Awakening. In doing so, he also prompts the consideration of the relevance and reproduction of such acts in the American church today.