Charles Wesley, Sr

Charles Wesley, Sr

Epworth, North Lincolnshire Unitary Authority, Lincolnshire, England
Death 29 Mar 1788 (aged 80)
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Burial East Finchley, London Borough of Barnet, Greater London, England
Plot Buried behind Marlybone Chapel in London across from famous Wax Museum.
Memorial ID 12330 · View Source
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Religious Composer and Leader. A prolific hymn writer, he wrote over 6,000 hymns, many of which are still widely popular today. The son of Anglican rector Samuel Wesley, he received his early education at home before attending the Westminster School in London, England and Christ Church, Oxford, England. After graduating with a Master's Degree in classical languages and literature, he followed his father and brother into the Anglican church in 1735. In October of that year he travelled to Savannah in the Georgia Colony in British America at the request of the governor, James Oglethorpe, and was appointed Secretary of Indian Affairs and chaplain to the garrison and colony at near-by Fort Frederica, St. Simon's Island. His ministry was largely rejected by the settlers and in July 1736 he was commissioned to England as the bearer of dispatches to the trustees of the colony. The following month he returned to England and in May 1738, he experienced an evangelical "conversion" at a Moravian meeting in Aldersgate Street in London and began his career as a traveling preacher and writing hymns. Among his best known hymns include "Christ the Lord is Risen Today," "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus," "Soldiers of Christ Arise," "O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing," "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling," "Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending," "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," and "Jesus, Lover of My Soul." He died at the age of 80. He was the father of musician and composer Charles Wesley, grandfather of musician and composer Samuel Sebastian Wesley, and brother of John Wesley, the founder of the religious movement Methodism. Around 150 of his hymns are in the Methodist hymn book "Hymns and Psalms" (1983) and "The Church Hymn Book" (1872). In 1995 the Gospel Music Association recognized his musical contributions to the art of gospel music by inducting him into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. In 2009 Foundery Pictures produced the film "Wesley" about the life of him and his brother that featured R. Keith Harris as Charles Wesley, Burgess Jenkins as John Wesley, and June Lockhart as Susanna Wesley, the wife of Charles Wesley. He is commemorated in the Calendar of Saints of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on March 2nd with his brother John. The Wesley brothers are also commemorated on March 3rd in the Calendar of Saints of the Episcopal Church and on May 24th in the Anglican calendar.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 10 Sep 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 12330
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Charles Wesley, Sr (18 Dec 1707–29 Mar 1788), Find a Grave Memorial no. 12330, citing East Finchley Cemetery and Crematorium, East Finchley, London Borough of Barnet, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .