The Rev. John Wesley (1703-1791) the great Anglican/Methodist reformer and theologian was credited with the founding of the Methodist Church and the evangelical movement connected with "the method," or "the rule with which the Wesley Brothers went about their religious affairs." Though "Methodist" was originally a mocking title by their fellow students, Wesley turned it into a title of honor. Methodists organized as home Bible study and prayer groups which spread throughout Britain and beyond.
In the United States, Methodism became the religion of many slaves who later formed "black churches" in the Methodist tradition. One night however John Wesley had a dream about Heaven and Hell. This dream first found him standing at the gates of Hell, a place of torment and anguish in the afterlife. Wesley asked his guide, "Are there any Presbyterians in there?" "Yes, a great many" came the reply. "Are there any Church of England members?" "Yes, there are lots of them." "Are there any Baptists?" "A large number." "And, are there any Wesleyans?" Again the answer came back, "Yes, there are many of them."✞
John Wesley was then transported in his dream to the gates of Heaven, a place of great joy and peace in the afterlife. Wesley repeated the same questions and each time was surprised to receive only negative answers. According to his guide there were "No Baptists, no Church of England, no Presbyterians and no Wesleyans, to be found in Heaven!" "Who, then, is in Heaven?" Wesley exclaimed. "We know nothing about the names you mentioned," came the reply. "The only name that matters here is the name Christian. We are all Christians and disciples of Jesus Christ here!" One moral of this story is that Christians would do well to take John Wesley's lead and to dispense with their denominational labels!✞
Are you interested in who else might be in Heaven? See Christ's Heavenly Body!✞