Wesley Monumental Methodist Church

John Wesley, later credited with the foundation of the evangelical protestant movement known as Methodism, journeyed from Kent, England to Savannah, Georgia in 1735 at the request of James Oglethorpe. Savannah had been founded by Oglethorpe only two years prior, and Wesley was charged to be the Anglican minister of its newly formed parish. Wesley’s Savannah experience was both short and controversial, and he returned to England in grave disappointment by 1737. Still, Savannah went on to host America’s first Methodist Church in 1807. Construction on the Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church, located on Calhoun Square, began in 1875. Patterned after Queen’s Kirk in Amsterdam, the Gothic style of Wesley Monumental included two spires of differing heights, measuring 136 and 196 feet respectively. The building has gone through numerous structural changes over its storied history. While the religious influence of John Wesley has had a significant impacton protestant Christian history throughout the world, his early experiences as a young man in Savannah were highly influential on his later work as a religious leader and thinker.