Dickins John

Dickins John, a distinguished preacher of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was born in London 1746. He studied at Eton College; emigrated to America before the Revolution; became a Methodist in 1774; preached extensively in Virginia and North Carolina from 1777 till 1782, when he located, but continued his ministerial labors diligently in Virginia. Bishop Asbury met him there in 1780, when Dickins framed a subscription paper for a seminary, on the plan of Wesley's Kingswood School, the first project of a literary institution among American Methodists. It resulted in Cokesbury College. At the close of the war Asbury induced him to go to New York, where he took charge of John-street Church, the first married preacher who occupied its parsonage. His labors were successful in gathering together the fragments of the Church, seriously broken by the recent war. Dickins was here the first American preacher to receive bishop Coke, and approve Wesley's scheme of the organization of the denomination. He had an important agency in that work. In 1785 he traveled Bertie Circuit, Va. He was reappointed to New York in 1786, '87, '88. In 1789 he was stationed in Philadelphia, and there began one of the greatest institutions of American Methodism, its "Book Concern;" there also he died in the memorable outbreak of the yellow fever Sept. 27, 1798. He was one of the soundest minds and ablest preachers of early Methodism; a good scholar in English, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and mathematics; an influential counsellor, and a mighty preacher. — Stevens's Hist. of the Meth. Episc. Church, vol. 2, 3, and 4, passim; Minutes of Conferences, 1:179.

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