Philip Embury was born in Ballingrane, Ireland. He was converted in 1752 and emigrated to America in 1760--the first Methodist clergyman in America. In 1766 he began preaching in his own house while he was constructing a chapel on the site of the John Street Church in New York City. The chapel was completed in 1768, and Embury moved to Camden, N.Y., the following year. The congregation he formed there grew into the influential Troy Conference.
Peter Cartwright was born in Amhert County, Virginia. He was raised in Kentucky; his father was an ungodly man who taught his son all the sins of the day; but his mother was a God-fearing Methodist who prayed daily for her wild son. In 1800, when he was 14, a revival swept Kentucky from Cane Ridge. Peter was under deep conviction for sin. But it was not for months that he obtained his "peace with God." He immediately began to preach, becoming a circuit rider, and rose in the Methodist denomination, becoming in 1824 a presiding elder. A rough, uneducated, and eccentric preacher, he possessed unusual stamina, a quick wit, and a clear perception of human nature. All his ministry demonstrated a profound devotion to God. His Autobiography has become a classic of frontier life.