Richard Whatcoat

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Richard Whatcoat (February 23, 1736 – July 4, 1806) was the third Bishop of the American Methodist Episcopal Church.


Whatcoat was born in Gloucestershire, England, and although reared in the Church of England, became a Methodist at age 22. He was a devoted lay Methodist for nine years.

In July 1769, Whatcoat became a minister, quickly earning a strong reputation as a problem-solver. John Wesley and Thomas Coke ordained him an Elder in 1784, then Wesley sent Whatcoat and Coke to the United States as missionaries.

Whatcoat became influential among the Methodists in America, known as an effective preacher. His contemporaries attributed his strength chiefly to his devotion. In the year 1800 he was elected bishop, joining Coke and Francis Asbury as the leaders of the Methodist Episcopal Church. After several years of infirmity, he died in Dover, Delaware from dysentery.

See also