According to the Annals of the Kensington Methodist Episcopal Church (1801-1893), pages 77 and 79, a William Denyer is listed as a "Class Leader" in 1825 and an 'Exhorter' in 1827.
The Kensington M.E. Church is the oldest church in the Kensington and Fishtown neighborhoods of Philadelphia. [source]
According to the Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church:
The duties of an Exhorter are, to hold Meetings for Prayer and Exhortation wherever opportunity is afforded, subject to the direction of the Pastor; to attend all the sessions of the District and Quarterly Conferences, and to present a written report to the same. He shall be subject to an annual examination of character in the Quarterly Conference, and a renewal of License, to be signed by the President thereof.A Class Leader is defined in this manner:
That it may the more easily be discerned whether they are indeed working out their own salvation, each Society is divided into smaller companies, called Classes, according to their respective places of abode. There are about twelve persons in a Class, one of whom is styled The Leader. It is his duty,So, is this the William Denyer who is my third great grandfather? I know from A Brief History of John and Christian Fretz and a Complete Genealogical Register (1890) that my ancestor was:
§ 1. To see each person in his Class once a week at least; in order, (1.) To inquire how his soul prospers. (2.) To advise, reprove, comfort, or exhort, as occasion may require. (3.) To receive what he is willing to give toward the relief of the Preachers, Church, and poor.
§ 2. To meet the Ministers and the Stewards of the Society once a week; in order, (1.) To inform the Minister of any that are sick, or of any that walk disorderly and will not be reproved. (2.) To pay the Stewards what he has received of his Class in the week preceding.
Born in the county of Southampton, Hampshire, England, Nov. 22, 1794; died in Louisana, Mar, 14, 1848. In early life he was a cabinet maker in Baltimore, Md, After marriage he was a farmer in Bucks Co., Pa., later he burned lime from oyster shells, in Philadelphia, was in ice business, rafted lumber down the Schuylkill river, boated on the Schuylkill canal, run saw and grist mill in Lycoming Co., Pa., and engaged in whip-sawing at New Albany, Ind. While there he was taken sick, and went to Louisiana for his health. In 1839 he settled with his family near Brazoria, Tex. In 1840 he moved to Gonzales Co. , Tex. , and in 1841 to Louisiana, and traveled as an itinerant minister of the M. E. ch., until his death.So it seems to fit my current knowledge, and it possibly dates when he began his professional career within the church.