The church doors were closed to Wesley for ministry but young George Whitefield invited him to preach in the open air to miners in Bristol. Wesley was against such but eventually yielded and was amazed at the fruitfulness of this ministry in reaching souls for Christ. This was the beginning of a revival ministry that was to impact the whole land. When locked out of his father’s church he stood on his father’s gravestone and preached the glorious gospel. Soon he was forming organised societies of new born Christians which were nicknamed Methodist societies. He travelled on horseback crisscrossing England but further afield as well. He spent a total of six years in Ireland. He was frequently attacked by mobs, nearly killed, he was scorned and ridiculed by the religious establishment, but the blessing of God rested upon him. In his preaching he emphasized repentance, faith and holiness, which he continued to proclaim right up until his death.
In 1791, in his 87thyear as he lay on his death bed he lifted his arms, raised his feeble voice and said, “The best of all is, God is with us.” In 52 years of revival ministry he had travelled 225,000 miles, preached 40,000 times―often to crowds of over 20,000 people―and gave away 30,000 pounds. When he died there were 72,000 Methodists in Britain and Ireland as well as 57,000 in America, and 1,500 travelling preachers. It has often been said ‘when John Wesley was carried to his grave, he left behind him a good library of books, a well-worn clergyman's gown and the Methodist Church.’