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Joseph Pilmore (1739-1825)

Joseph Pilmore was born into an Anglican family in Tadmouth, Yorkshire. He was converted under the influence of John Wesley at the age of sixteen and was subsequently educated at Kingswood School. He was admitted to the Wesleyan itinerancy in 1766.

In 1769 Pilmore volunteered for service in America with Richard Boardman. For the first three years of his American ministry he alternated between New York and Philadelphia, where he oversaw the purchase of St George's Church, destined to be known as the cradle of American Methodism. He then embarked on an extensive tour of the Southern Colonies, forming Methodist Societies in Maryland and Virginia.

Pilmore returned to England in 1774 and laboured as an itinerant preacher from 1776 to 1784, after which he withdrew from the Methodist movement for reasons that are unclear.

Pilmore returned to America and in 1785 was ordained, on the recommendation of Charles Wesley, into the Protestant Episcopal Church. He remained in the United States for the rest of his life, much of which was spent as a clergyman in New York and Philadelphia.

Source: Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739- 1860 edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995) and Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974)

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