Saturday, March 19, 2016
Mary Evans Thorne
Mrs. Thorne was the first female class leader in colonial American Methodism. She joined the church around 1770 in Philadelphia and within two years "had three classes and two Methodist bands meeting weekly under her tutelage" while supporting herself by teaching and taking in sewing. When the British took over the Methodist chapel, she held meetings in her home.
She married British sea captain Samuel Parker in 1778 and sailed with him to England. The couple lived in London and later Yorkshire where he served as church steward and she continued to be a class leader. He suffered a number of financial setbacks, including the loss of ships, and they were impoverished by 1798. He died sometime after 1813 and she returned to Philadelphia.
This is a comprehensive biography of Mrs. Thorne, written in 1884 by George Lybrand, which include a letter of appeal she set to Thomas Coke and Adam Clark in 1813 http://www.historicstgeorges.org/…/5%20Mary%20Thorn,%20Firs…
(Also of interest is this description of early class meetings and band meetingshttp://wesleyanaccent.seedbed.com/…/kevin-watson-the-metho…/ )