John Wesley (1703-1791) On February 6, 1736, John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, landed at Peeper (now Cockspur) Island near here and there preached to his fellow voyagers his first sermon on American soil. A monument has been erected on Cockspur Island to commemorate the event. Sent to Georgia by the Trustees as missionary, Wesley was the third minister of the Established Church in the colony. He preached in the scattered settlements of Georgia, journeying thither by boat and over Indian trails. Wesley returned to England in 1737 after differences with his parishioners. "I shook off the dust of my feet and left Georgia," he wrote, "having preached the Gospel there (not as I ought, but as I was able) one year and nearly nine months."