Black Harry Hoosier, orator of spirit

Harry Hoosier
Sun, 1750-07-19

The birth of Harry Hoosier in 1750 is celebrated on this date. He was a renowned Black preacher and an evangelist.

Born a slave in North Carolina, following the Revolutionary War he gained his freedom and was converted to Methodism. His sermon, "The Barren Fig Tree," preached at Adam's Chapel, Fairfax County, Virginia, in May of 1781, was the first recorded Methodist sermon by an African American. Hoosier became famous as a traveling evangelist throughout the Atlantic seaboard. He was a companion on evangelistic trips with Asbury, Coke, Jesse Lee, Freeborn Garrettson, and was heralded as one of the greatest preachers of his time.

His influence was one of the most important factors in the early spread of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America. At the time, he was the best of his race, at what he dedicated himself to: preaching, but not organizing.

Harry Hoosier died in 1806.

The African American Atlas
Black History & Culture an Illustrated Reference
by Molefi K. Asanta and Mark T. Mattson
Macmillam USA, Simon & Schuster, New York
ISBN 0-02-864984-2

Person / name: 

Hoosier, Black Harry