He averaged 10 poetic lines a day for over 50 years, and is credited with writing 8,989 hymns, more than ten times the number of the next closest contender for greatest hymn writer ever. As the 18th child of Samuel and Susannah Wesley he was sometimes called the “forgotten Wesley” living in the shadow of his brother John.
Homeschooled for 6 hours a day by his mother who knew French, Latin, and Greek, in addition to English, he attended Oxford. He was so concerned about the spiritual lethargy on campus that he founded what was called the “Holy Club”. Because of the strict regimen of rising early, studying scripture, visiting prison among other things they were nicknamed “Methodists.”
In 1735 he accompanied his brother John on a missionary trip to Georgia. Although John said, ‘I went to America to convert the Indians, but oh, who will convert me?” it could just as easily have come from Charles.
During May, 1738, charlesw was teaching English to a Morvian named Peter Bohler, who challenged him to take a closser look at his spiritual condition. That led to his conversion, and he recorded in his journal, “I now found myself at peace with God, and rejoice in hope of loving Christ.”
His hymnn, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” was first published in a collection of hymns in 1739. The format that we find it in today is largely the result of revision by his good friend, George Whitfield. The tune is credited to Felix Mendelsohn. It is considered by many to be one of the four greatest hymns ever written. And as Paul Harvey would say, “Now you know the rest of the story.”