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.


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 ?
But because literacy is often a problem, part of the circuit rider program provides some basic math and science.
One task for a circuit rider was to help keep the peace-or sometimes preach at funerals for those who died shooting at each other in the battles over which community would get to be the county seat.
He had also been employed as research consultant for the United Nations Mission in Sudan, an IT Systems Consultant at University of California at Berkeley and as a Circuit Rider for Pro Bono Net where he maintained and supported a network of legal services organizations engaged in technology-related projects spanning 30 U.
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).
Antes(3) was one of the first circuit rider medical librarians, the first in a rural setting.
Following the meeting, Roger Featherstone, Southwest Circuit Rider for Westerners for Responsible Mining said, "It is clear after this meeting that labor, community and conservationists all share common ground in a clean Arizona.
The service also funds the Rural Water Circuit Rider Program.
Other institutions (Pifalo, 1994; Mazmanian, Banks, Self, & Hampton, 1997) successfully combined elements of the Circuit Rider Librarian program with teaching Grateful Med[R] to remote users.
To change this, circuit rider workshops should be held right in the members' region.
Among other nominees are road racers Ryan Farquhar, William Dunlop, Andrew Brady and John Burrows, short circuit riders Michael Laverty, Jack Kennedy, Ian Lowry and John Simpson and, representing off-road motocross, rider Martin Barr.