From my sketchbook. Since I’m getting ordained tonight, thought I’d butcher Methodist history a little. After the American Revolution, the American Methodists were left without clergy. After the Church of England refused to ordain clergy at Wesley’s request, John felt backed in a corner and promoted his 2nd in command (Thomas Coke, an Anglican elder) to Bishop and sent him to America to ordain him some Methodists. John also speed-ordained two of his lay-preachers, Whatcoat and Vassey. All of this seriously aggrieved Charles Wesley, who staunchly held that “ordination means separation.” Charles wrote this poem about John’s deed:
“So easily are Bishops made
By man’s or woman’s whims
Wesley his hands on Coke has laid
But who laid hands on him?”
I think we can also put “apostolic succession” in quotation marks while we’re at it.