Itinerant preacher

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Illustration from The Circuit Rider: A Tale of the Heroic Age by Edward Eggleston depicting a Methodist circuit rider on horseback.

An itinerant preacher (also known as an itinerant minister or evangelist or circuit rider) is a Christian evangelist who preaches the basic Christian redemption message while traveling around to different groups of people within a relatively short period of time.[1] The usage of these travelling ministers is known as itineracy or itinerancy.[2][3]


Early 1st Century New Testament figures such as John the Baptist,[4] Jesus of Nazareth and Paul of Tarsus were known for extensively traveling and preaching to unreached people groups in the Middle East and Europe, although often staying for longer periods than modern itinerant evangelists.

Starting in the eighteenth century, the Methodists were known for sending out itinerant preachers known as circuit riders to share the message.[5][6] The "chief peculiar usages" of Methodism, include the "Itinerancy, Class-meeting, Love-feast, and Watchnight."[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Circuit Preacher David Brown". Religion and Ethics News Weekly. PBS. August 31, 2007.
  2. ^ "To be United Methodist: What is "itineracy"?". The United Methodist Church. 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2021.
  3. ^ "Glossary: itineracy, itinerancy". 17 May 2015. Retrieved 20 June 2021.
  4. ^ Rindoš, Jaroslav (2010). He of Whom it is Written: John the Baptist and Elijah in Luke. p. 110.
  5. ^ Neely, Thomas Benjamin (1914). The minister in the itinerant system. Fleming H. Revell company.
  6. ^ Haime, Frederick Charles (1865). An itinerant preacher; or, Sketches from the life of the rev. Charles Haime. Hamilton, Adams & Co.
  7. ^ Stephen O. Garrison (1908). Probationer's Handbook. Eaton and Mains. p. 31.