The history of the Methodist Church goes back to the eighteenth century when John Wesley and his brother Charles felt the influence of God on their lives and began to preach about Jesus Christ throughout England.
In October 1735, John was on a voyage to America when the ship was battered by a storm and he was fearful for his life. He noticed that a party of Moravian Christians on the boat seemed to have no fear as the waves tossed the boat about in the sea. He realised that they had something that was causing them not to be afraid and that it was something that he lacked. John made friends with the leaders of the group and, over a period of time, he realised that they had a real faith in the living God.
Three years later in 1738, John went to a meeting where he heard about how God can change lives and hearts through faith in Him. In his journal, John recorded the following: “About a quarter before nine…I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt as though I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given to me that he had taken away MY sins, even MINE, and had saved ME from the law of sin and death.” Charles had had a similar experience three days earlier and had written about this in the form of a hymn, “Where Shall My Wandering Soul Begin?”
Over the course of the next fifty years, John Wesley travelled throughout the country on horseback with the sole purpose of telling people about Jesus and how they could have their sins forgiven if they believed in him. John visited Grimsby several times during his travels and wrote in his journal, “It is no more than a middling village containing a small number of half-starved inhabitants.” The population of Grimsby at the time was about one thousand and the population of Scartho about one hundred. When John Wesley was first asked to preach in Grimsby, he was unable to do so, so he sent a John Nelson to go in his place. He preached to several thousand people and a Methodist Society was formed in Grimsby.