Methodist Episcopal Church
The Methodist Episcopal Church, sometimes referred to as the M.E. Church, officially began at the Baltimore Christmas Conference in 1784. Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke were the first bishops. Circuit riders, many of which were laymen, traveled by horseback to preach the gospel and establish churches until there is scarcely any crossroad community in the United States without a Methodist expression of Christianity.
There are many offshoots of the original Methodist Episcopal Church in the US. For more detail see: Methodism.