In 18th Century England, John Wesley was bigger than Lady Gaga. (And that’s probably the only time in history you’ll see Wesley and Gaga in the same sentence—always breaking new ground here, folks.)

Wesley became famous for preaching in fields at a time when that was considered taboo. Conventional wisdom said that if a preacher didn’t have a church, he was illegitimate. But Wesley turned out to be so good that people often hitched up the horse and buggy and traveled for days just to see him in action. His influence was so great that his movement eventually became the modern-day Methodist church. Late in his life, a reporter asked how he managed to draw those huge crowds.

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