“Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” “Christ the Lord is Risen Today,” “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” are among the greatest hymns ever written. All are the work of Charles Wesley. He was born in England in 1707 and was educated at Christ Church College at Oxford along with his brother John, where they started the Holy Club made up of the first Methodists.
Wesley was ordained as an Anglican priest and joined the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. He accompanied his brother to Georgia, serving as General James Oglethorpe’s secretary and as chaplain at Fort Frederica on St. Simon’s Island. It wasn’t a long or a happy stay, but the Moravians he met in America influenced him deeply.
Back in England, Wesley preached to huge crowds as an itinerant minister and published his Hymns and Sacred Poems in 1739.
The man who eventually wrote more than 6,500 hymns still sung after two centuries first arrived in Georgia on March 9, 1736, Today in Georgia History.
Today in Georgia History is a joint collaboration of the Georgia Historical Society & Georgia Public Broadcasting.