Bishop Coke

Rev. Thomas Coke, First bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. Thomas Coke (September 9, 1747 – May 2, 1814) was the very first in a long line of bishops of the Methodist Church. As the first bishop he was given the responsibility to consecrate the second bishop, Francis Asbury. Upon that occasion, Bishop Coke preached a sermon that can offer to the United Methodist Church today a glimpse into the mind of our first bishop and an idea of what he thought was important for a bishop in the Methodist Church.


The sermon is now presented on these pages in two formats. First, the sermon as preached to the General Conference on December 27, 1785 upon the consecration (ordination) of Francis Asbury. Some of the language has been updated for ease of reading and the beginning of the sermon is not included in this presentation. (No malice intended, just trying to make it easier and quicker for everyone to read.)

The second presentation of the sermon is with the language and focus of the sermon shifted from talking about Francis Asbury to a focus on all Methodist bishops.

The sermons are also available as a pdf for downloading to copy and share. It’s not copyrighted since Bishop Coke died 202 years ago. And he might be pleased if his sermon is utilized today to strengthen the church for whom he gave his life. We would appreciate if you reference West African Writers as the source of your copy.

Prayers for Bishops