William B. Godbey (1833-1920) was one of the most significant evangelists in the early stages of the Wesleyan-holiness movement. He was born in Pulaski, Kentucky, and raised in the Methodist Church. In 1853, he was licensed by the Methodist Episcopal Church to preach and in 1868 attained full membership in the Kentucky Conference. Also, in 1868, he experienced entire sanctification, a doctrine he fervently espoused in his pastoral and evangelistic career. He also taught in public schools and assumed the presidency of Harmonia College in Perryville, Kentucky for a time. He was a prodigious author publishing more than 200 books and pamphlets on topics including doctrine, new religious movements, the Second Coming, and divine healing. He travelled extensively across the country and the world preaching the holiness message. He taught at God’s Bible School in Cincinnati, Ohio and became known, in part, for his unconventional dress and personal lifestyle. He eventually returned to the Kentucky Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church and is buried in Perryville, Kentucky.

Source: This information was adapted, in part, from the “William Baxter Godbey” entry in the Historical Dictionary of the Holiness Movement edited by William Kostlevy (2009).


The Collected Works of William Baxter Godbey