Wesley Circle Quilting Bee
to give a helping hand
wherever we can whenever we can'
Susanna Wesley Circle was named for Susanna Wesley, the mother of John and
Charles Wesley. She is known
as “The mother of Methodism”. In
1711, while her husband was away in London, Mrs. Wesley adopted the
practice of reading within her family and instructing them.
One of the servants told his parents and they wished to attend.
Then they told others and attendance snowballed until the
congregations increased to over 200.
She read to them the best and most awakening sermons she could find
in the library and talked to the people freely and affectionately.
Aldersgate United Methodist Church's Susanna Wesley Circle is a service-oriented circle and is involved in
many service missions both within our local community and globally.
Susanna Wesley Circle meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at
7:00 p.m. Circle members
rotate hosting these meetings.
If you would like more information about the Susanna Wesley Circle, please call the Aldersgate office.
A Mother Who Made A
deep admiration, Samuel Wesley wrote this to his children: "You know
what you owe to one of the best of mothers . . . above all (for) the
wholesome and sweet motherly advice and counsel which she has often given
you to fear God . . . "
Susanna Wesley lived just long enough to see
the fruits of her work; two months before she died in July 1742, her son
John preached a series of revival messages in their home town of Epworth,
England, to the biggest crowds that area had ever seen. The blossoming
ministry of John and Charles would impact generations to come for the
Gospel of Christ.
Yet their success was a blessing Susanna was
not sure God would let her enjoy in this
life; mingled with her happiness were some hurtful memories. In nineteen
years, she gave birth to nineteen children, nine of whom died as
infants—including two sets of twins. One baby was accidentally smothered
by a maid. Another was crippled for life in a tragic accident.
Susanna met her trials with the faith in God
that she had learned as a child. She was the youngest of twenty-five, born
in 1669 to the family of Dr. Samuel Annesley, a well-known, powerful
Her parents were gracious, tireless workers
who kept a pleasant home. Her father's study was a hub of intellectual
activity where many famous men of the day debated on current issues.
Always keeping an attentive ear to the
arguments was young Susanna, who loved to learn. She had an opportunity
for education available to few women of her time, and she made the most of
it. Her bright mind absorbed her father's instruction.
Susanna remembered those days with fondness,
especially her growth in the Lord. She wrote in a letter: "I will
tell you what rule I observed when I was young, and too much addicted to
childish diversions—never to spend more time in mere recreation in one
day than I spent in private religious devotions."
She was as pretty and captivating on the
outside as she was in her heart, and the young Samuel Wesley was quick to
notice. They wed on November 11, 1688, when Susanna was nineteen. But when
she married him, she did not anticipate the tough life ahead.
The first battle was a material one. Because
Samuel was a newly ordained minister in the Church of England, he had to
wait for appointments to parishes that paid a sufficient salary.
Eventually, he was made a rector at Epworth, a good position, but by then
they were mired in debt.
To make the situation worse, Samuel was a
poor money manager. Every side venture he touched turned to disaster and
left them poorer than before. Between bearing children and enduring
lingering sicknesses, Susanna was unable to do much to supplement his
income. The generosity of friends and supporters kept them going during
the bleakest periods.
Despite his love for her and his commitment
to Christ, Samuel was blind to his faults. At
times he was tyrannical and despotic at home. Once after a minor
disagreement, he abandoned Susanna and their several children for an
No matter what the circumstances, however,
Susanna was committed to caring for her family the best way possible.
Though resources were limited, she started a daily school for her
children. She said her purpose was exclusively "the saving of their
souls," so the rigorous academics never took priority over
instruction in God's Word. Each day before
class, she set aside an hour to herself for Scripture reading and prayer,
and then led them all in singing psalms.
Biographer Arnold Dallimore notes:
"Susanna trained her children to obey and in so doing richly molded
their characters." Each child had separate responsibilities, a
necessity in running a large household. When one was disruptive, Susanna
responded with appropriate discipline. Though some modern counselors are
critical of Susanna's methods, their assessment of her is accurate. She
never disciplined excessively or unkindly.
Because Susanna wanted to develop a personal
relationship with each child, she scheduled a private appointment with
each of them once a week for encouragement. These bonds of faith and love
helped them survive continual hardships.
Twice their home was destroyed by fire, and God
saved them from the flames. In the second fire, John was only five and was
trapped upstairs. Neither Susanna nor Samuel could reach him, but they
heard his cries of fear. They prayed, and John appeared in the window just
in time to be grabbed before the roof caved in.
Shortly before she died at age
seventy-three, Susanna wrote Charles to describe her faith. She admitted
that for years she struggled with doubt and confusion about her salvation,
but that she finally had complete peace.
"When I had forgotten God,
yet I then found He had not forgotten me. Even then He
did by His Spirit apply the merits of the
great atonement to my soul, by telling me that Christ
died for me."
With her family gathered around her bedside
during her final illness, she said: "Children, as soon as I am
released, sing a psalm of praise to God." Her
grace marker reads in part: ". . . A Christian here her flesh laid down,
the cross exchanging for a crown."
After Susanna Wesley died
on July 23, 1742, she was buried at Bunhill Fields. John Wesley conducted
the services. Charles Wesley wrote the epitaph for her tombstone. Later a
new stone was set up, bearing a different inscription.
and steadfast hope to rise,
And claim her mansion in the skies,
A Christian here her flesh laid down,
The cross exchanging for a crown.
True daughter of affliction, she,
Inured to pain and misery,
Mourn'd a long night of griefs and fears,
A legal night of seventy years.
The Father then revealed his Son;
Him in the broken bread made known;
She knew and felt her sins forgiven,
And found the earnest of her heaven.
Meet for the fellowship above,
She heard the call, "Arise, my love!"
"I come!" her dying looks replied,
And, lamb-like as her Lord, she died.
here to read about Susanna Wesley and the Unauthorized Meetings.