History of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Volume IV.
by Nathan Bangs
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Perhaps no one was better suited to provide a written history of the Methodist Episcopal
Church than Nathan Bangs. The brilliant, self-educated theologian had not only served
as president of Wesleyan University, but he had also volunteered himself as an itinerant
preacher in Canada during the War of 1812. Later, he founded the Methodist Missionary
Society. The final volume of Bangs’ four-volume history carries the proceedings of the
Methodist church up to the 1840s, just decades before the American Civil War. During
this time, the church formulated its views on the North American slave trade, becoming
a force in favor of abolition. Bangs’ detailed documentation of church proceedings and
projects in this volume and those before it provides church historians with an invaluable