Midnight Rider for the Morning Star

Midnight Rider for the Morning Star

by Mark Alan Leslie
Midnight Rider for the Morning Star

Midnight Rider for the Morning Star

by Mark Alan Leslie



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"Midnight Rider for the Morning Star" — from the life and times of Francis Asbury — tells the danger-filled, adventurous story of America's first circuit-riding preacher. At the request of John Wesley, Asbury sailed to America in 1771 at the most exciting time in the country's history and became America's most extraordinary preacher.
Asbury’s life is both a lesson in dedication and persistence with a deep passion for men’s souls. It is a thrill ride, 18th-century style.
Hunted by Indians, chased by highwaymen, stalked by wolves, Asbury overcame whatever he faced, including arthritis and pleurisy that was so severe he sometimes could neither kneel to pray nor stand to preach. Traveling 300,000 miles by horseback, and before photography, he became more recognized than any of his contemporaries, even George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. So well known that he would receive letters addressed simply: “Bishop Asbury, America.”
Asbury counted many of the founders among his friends and when a monument to him was unveiled in Washington, D.C., President Coolidge said he deserved to be named among the founding fathers.
Asbury traveled deep into the wilderness where no preacher had gone before and crossed the Allegheny Mountains dozens of times, often accompanied by as many as 25 armed bodyguards.
When yellow fever struck Philadelphia in 1794, he rode into the city to tend to the sick, 50 of whom were dying each day, until the fever dissipated. He rode into the deep South to preach against slavery 50 years before the Civil War. He spoke out against alcohol abuse a century before the temperance movement.
"Midnight Rider" is set in Maine in 1809, with Asbury telling his life story in flashbacks. He arrived in America as the air rippled with discontent with British authorities. Standing steadfast with the colonies, he eventually won favor with Washington and other leaders of the new country. But he refused the comfortable life, instead taking the gospel deep into the wilderness as far south as Georgia, as far north as Quebec and as far west as Indiana.
Biographer Ezra Squier Tipple wrote: “Was Asbury a great preacher? If a mind acted upon by the Holy Spirit, if a heart suffused with spiritual passion, if a life surcharged with gospel dynamics — if these, flowing into speech as molten iron is poured into prepared forms, constitute a preacher great, then Asbury was a great preacher. If to speak with authority as the accredited messenger of God; to have credentials which bear the seal of heaven; to have a voice keyed to the theme of the centuries; if when he lifted the trumpet to his lips the Almighty blew the blast; if to be conscious of an ever-present sense of God, God the Summoner, God the Anointing One, God the Judge, and to project it into speech which would make his hearers tremble, smite them with terror, and cause them to fall as dead men; if to be and do all this would entitle a man to be called a great preacher, then Asbury was a great preacher."
Asbury’s life is memorialized by statues in Washington, D.C., and at Drew University in Madison, N.J., and Asbury College in Wilmore, Ky. And his name is venerated by Asbury College in Wilmore, Asbury Theological Seminaries in Wilmore and Orlando, Fla., and what is now called DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., which was first called Indiana Asbury College. Even a town was named after him: Asbury Park, N.J.
“This is a fast-paced ride and read through the new Republic with America’s most influential religious leader,” said church historian Darius Salter, pastor of the Richardson (Texas) Church of the Nazarene. “Mark Leslie creatively engages Francis Asbury’s courage and sacrifice in transforming early-American culture with the spread of the gospel. Clearly and imaginatively written for both young and old, Midnight Rider reintroduces us to the founder of American Methodism. A spiritual challenge for all of us.”
“In a world of namby-pamby Christianity, along comes a story of a man who played no games with God," said Frank Eiklor, president of Shalom International Outreach. "The life and exploits of Francis Asbury read like the biblical Book of Acts. Mark Alan Leslie did not write ‘just another book.’ I couldn’t put "Midnight Rider for the Morning Star" down. Neither will you. This one is a ‘must read.’”

Product Details

BN ID: 2940016349411
Publisher: Gripfast Publishers
Publication date: 03/02/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
File size: 204 KB

About the Author

Mark Alan Leslie has been an editor and journalist for more than 30 years, has won three national writing awards, and has operated his own media-relations firm since 2000. A 1971 graduate of the University of Maine at Orono, he spent three years as news director at Colby College, 10 years as editor of as the daily Lewiston (Maine) Sun and 11 years as founding editor of Golf Course News (now Golf Course Industry), which became the leading trade publication in the golf industry. Since 2000 he has freelanced as well as operated his own firm, The Leslies — Media Consultants, working with some of the leading golf course architects and builders around the country.
His first book, "Midnight Rider for the Morning Star" has gained widespread acclaim across the Christian community.
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