Keeler, Sylvanus

Keeler, Sylvanus, was the earliest native Methodist itinerant in Canada. He first appears in the Minutes of 1795 on the Bay of Quinte Circuit. "He proved," says the Canadian chronicler of the Church, " a good and faithful minister of Christ." He labored about twelve years in the itinerant work, and then retired into the local ranks, compelled by the growing necessities of his family to resort to other means of support. He did not, however, abandon his Sabbath labors, but continued to preach all his days. After his family grew up and were able to provide for themselves, he extended his efforts to greater distances from home, carrying the Gospel into the distant settlements of immigrants beyond the Rideau. He died in the faith. Keeler had no advantages of early education; he had, however, endowments, natural and of divine bestowment. His person was commanding, and his voice clear, melodious, and strong. His spirit and manners were the most bland and engaging, and his zeal and fervor knew no bounds and suffered no abatement Stevens, Hist. M. E. Church, 3:192; 4:274.. (J. L. S.)

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