By J. Gordon Melton, James Bevereley, Constance Jones, Pamela S. Nadell, Rodney Stark
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Additional info for Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions
In the establishment and growth of the predominantly immigrant/ethnic churches and religions lies half the story of American religion in the next century. Third, the majority of the population had left behind a situation in which church membership and citizenship were Melton’s Encyclopedia of American Religions Essay 1 largely synonymous, and in their new free situation they chose to support no religion, profess no religious affiliation, and join no church. Churches could begin massive efforts to bring the population into the religious life they offered.
However, they were solidly identified with the Church of England, having constituted themselves as a religious society within that church. Because of Wesley’s political tracts, they were also identified with the Tory cause. Like the Anglican priests, the Methodist preachers, except for Francis Asbury (1745–1816), returned to England as a result of the Revolution. Methodism was largely shut down, and Asbury was forced to live in retirement during the war years. After the war, the Methodists were the first to greet Washington with protestations of loyalty, and then quickly turned to the task of reorganizing in the light of the changed situation.
From there, Spanish missionaries established missions that at one point reached as far north as South Carolina and briefly the Chesapeake Bay area. The missions in Florida, in spite of their ups and downs, were most successful through several generations. The second movement of Spain into what is now the United States was from Mexico in the Southwest. In 1540 Francisco Vasquez de Coronado (c. 1510–1554) began his famous trek that took him from New Mexico to central Kansas. In his easternmost exploration, he came upon the village of Quivera.