circuit rider

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circuit rider,

itinerant preacher of the Methodist denomination who served a "circuit" consisting usually of 20 to 40 "appointments." The circuit system, devised by John Wesley for his English societies in their formative period and developed in America by Francis Asbury, proved especially adapted to the conditions of the American frontier and came into its own in the trans-Allegheny region. Its success was a factor in establishing Methodism in America. The circuit rider, traveling usually on horseback because it was economical and suited to the forest pathways, preached nearly every day and twice on Sundays, thus covering his circuit every four or five weeks. His appointments were usually in pioneer cabins, schoolhouses, or tavern barrooms. The circuit rider often had a limited education, but he was usually an effective preacher and lived a very self-sacrificing life.

Bibliography

See E. K. Nottingham, Methodism and the Frontier (1941, repr. 1966); W. W. Sweet, The Methodists, 1783–1840 (1946, repr. 1964).

circuit rider

frontier Methodist preacher who served “appointments” (services) in cabins, schoolhouses, and even taverns. [Am. Hist.: NCE, 561]
References in periodicals archive ?
Similarly, a circuit rider in Livingston Parish, Louisiana, procured a flatbed tow truck and 20 water storage tanks from a colleague to dispense potable water in an area which otherwise might have had to wait days for water restoration (Hurricane Katrina: Assessing the Present Environmental Status, 2005).
Emergency operations centers: Incorporating a circuit rider [Unpublished manuscript].
The Circuit Riders of Seattle and Garden of Grace of Mosier are members of the Pacific Gospel Music Association.
In contemporary times, this scenario has evolved to include toll-free phone numbers, fax services, electronic mail, and electronic document delivery, but in the early days of the medical circuit riders, these "fast" communication methods did not exist.
Antes(3) was one of the first circuit rider medical librarians, the first in a rural setting.
Pastors were circuit riders, going from homestead to homestead visiting their followers.
The circuit riders also act as "marriage brokers," networking to bring together all the people and agencies that can turn an idea into a profitable business.
Winnifred was a member of the Circuit Riders in Shrewsbury, visiting the sick and elderly with prayer and communion.
Traditionally, Methodists have been circuit riders, moving from one church to another.
These circuit riders formed a sort of religious order within Methodism.
The days of the circuit riders have gone, but typically the 35,000 Methodist ministers will stay at one church for only four or five years before being reassigned.