Ezekiel Cooper, 1763-1847
Ezekiel Cooper was born on February 22, 1763 in Caroline County, Maryland. Cooper was raised in the Church of England, but at the age of 13, he became interested in Methodism. Cooper was much influenced by the preaching of Freeborn Garrettson, a leading Methodist itinerant preacher of the time.
On June 3, 1787 Cooper was ordained a deacon by Bishop Francis Asbury at John Street Church in New York City. In 1779 Cooper was appointed to run the Methodist Book Concern, which prospered because of his good business sense.
Cooper was an ardent opponent of slavery. In 1790-91, Cooper wrote a series of letters to various newspapers arguing for freedom for slaves. These letters were signed, "A Freeman." Ezekiel Cooper was a minister for 64 years. He died on February 21, 1847.