Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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KING, John, clergyman, born in England about 1750; died near Raleigh, North Carolina, about 1830. Nothing is known of his early history prior to his coming to the United States from London in 1769. He was one of the first lay evangelists that assisted in introducing Methodism into this country. The church authorities hesitated when he presented himself for license; but he called a meeting "in the Potter's field," where he preached his first sermon over the graves of the poor. He was afterward licensed and stationed at Wilmington, Delaware, whence he removed to Maryland, and was the first to teach the tenets of his sect to the people of Baltimore, often preaching from tables in the streets and suffering much from mob violence. He was subsequently received into the regular itinerancy, was a member of the first conference in 1773, and was "appointed to New , Jersey. He soon after went to Virginia, and later returned to New Jersey. He "located" during the Revolution, but in 1801-'3 served as an itinerant in Virginia. At the time of his death he was probably the only surviving preacher of the ante-Revolutionary period.
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