Friday, March 11, 2016
Barbara Heck (1734 - 1804) was instrumental in founding the first Methodist Societies in both the United States and Canada, as well as designing the chapel that eventually became New York City's John Street United Methodist Church.
She was of German descent, born to parents who were part of a group of over 100 Protestant families who fled first to the Netherlands and then to County Limerick, Ireland where she was born. She converted to Methodism after hearing John Wesley preach (he made eight trips to Ireland and spoke fluent German.)
In 1760 she and her husband, Paul, emigrated to New York City, where she soon became alarmed that the Methodist community there had grown spiritually careless without a pastor. She organized services led at first by her cousin Philip Embury, who had been a Local Preacher in Ireland, and then by Captain Thomas Webb, regimental commander of the British forces at Albany.
The Hecks were Loyalists to the British Crown and during the Revolutionary War they fled to Camden and to Salem in northern New York, and then to Montreal and later Brockville, Quebec, founding Methodist Societies in all these communities.
Read more about Barbara Heck herehttp://victoriaunitedchurch.tripod.com/id1.html