18) The effect of the Caribbean's unhealthy environment on efforts to proselytize the slaves was to force white missionaries, who sickened and died from yellow fever and malaria at an astonishingly high rate, to train Afro-Antilleans as lay exhorters and class leaders.
In the interim, the Afro-Methodists of Nassau persevered, raising up within their church three exhorters and preachers of color.
The next Primitive Methodist preacher sent to the Bahamas was the aforementioned Luke Rushton, who like Samuel Hunt was a free black exhorter from South Carolina.
The Afro-Methodist exhorter moved from South Carolina to Abaco in 1783 and relocated to New Providence a year later.
Ironically, the gang of exhorters
on the platform at the Philadelphia volunteerism summit -- Clinton, Powell, Bush, Ford -- are among those of one generation who helped create the mess and despair that the creative dissenters of the next generation are now called on, as altruists and idealists, to ease.
Another unskilled worker, exhorter George White, avoided political questions.
Three times White approached white elders to request a promotion from the position of exhorter, which only allowed him to share his testimony, to local preacher, which enabled him to publicly interpret scripture passages.
Furthermore, Bernard Semmel is correct in arguing that many ordinary Methodists of the eighteenth century, including exhorters
, lay preachers, and even ordained ministers, comprehended little of the Wesleys' Arminianism and were themselves spokesmen for a "popular Calvinism.
He actively engaged in the same pursuits himself and, at Suffield, he willingly ceded his ministerial authority to gifted lay exhorters.
These bodily outbursts lasted for nearly three hours, during which time Edwards prayed with the convicted sinners until his strength was nearly spent, then called for a group of lay exhorters to minister to the distressed.
Similar concerns may have attracted self-appointed lay exhorters like Reuben Ely to the Enfield meetinghouse as well.
This tendency manifested itself in George Whitefield's ministry to slaves in Georgia, David Brainerd's mission to the Delaware Indians, and the empowerment of poor, female, and uneducated exhorters
throughout the colonies.
In addition to ministers, many Baptist churches had ruling elders, assistants, exhorters
, deacons, deaconesses, elderesses, and evangelists.
The Out-Door Exhorters
," Boston Daily Globe, 27 May 1885, 4.