He founded Methodism along with his brother Charles and George Whitefield.
John Wesley’s most direct descendants are the 12 million members of the United Methodist Church. That’s not counting at least 70 million members of churches in the 120 countries where there are Methodists or still millions more in the Salvation Army, the Wesleyan churches, AME, AMEZ, CME, the Church of the Nazarene and countless Holiness churches like the Free Methodists.
Also there are 625 million Pentecostals around the world who claim Wesley as a spiritual forbear and you have the second largest Christian movement in the world, outpaced only by the Roman Catholic Church.
Now, 300 years since his birth on June 17, 1703, perhaps no one would be more surprised by his enduring influence and the number of churches he fathered, than John Wesley himself.
“Certainly he would be one of the three most influential Christian leaders as far as his effects on American religious life,” said the Rev. Vinson Synan, dean of the School of Divinity at Regent University
Wesley’s theology is deeply imprinted on American religious life, from Billy Graham revivals and the huge number of Americans who claim to be “born again”. There are many hospitals, universities and social movements that were founded in Wesley’s era of social holiness, even if we’re not Protestant or not Wesleyan,” said Brother Jeff Gros, who oversees ecumenical dialogue for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Toward the end of the 19th century some of Wesley’s followers left to form Holiness churches in an effort to recover the old-time religion of emotional conversion. That split gave birth to the Nazarene Churches and the Salvation Army.
Then, between 1900 and 1920, another split gave birth to the Pentecostals, who wanted still more emotion and spirit-filled worship. John Wesley left a very big imprint on American culture though he was only in America 18 months but many lay members and other clergy helped to spread his influence.