George Whitefield was a Methodist preacher during the First Great Awakening. He was born in Gloucester, England on December 16, 1714 and was buried in Newburyport, Massachusetts on September 30, 1770. Whitefield took voyages to the New World seven times, voyages whose one-way trips took two months. He called both sides of the Atlantic “home”. He was the most traveled preacher of the gospel up to his time and many feel he was the greatest evangelist of all time. His diligence and sacrifice helped turn two nations back to God. He spent about 24 years of ministry in the British Isles and about nine more years in America, speaking to some ten million souls. In the New World, Whitefield preached from Georgia to New England, always raising money for the orphanage he had established in Savannah. New York, Boston, Philadelphia, the Carolinas, and even Harvard University were all beneficiaries of his ministry as he was anything but “the generality of preachers who talk of an unknown and unfelt Christ.” Although Whitefield had been ordained as a minister in the Church of England, he later allied with other Anglican clergymen, who shared his evangelical tendency, most notably John and Charles Wesley. Together they led a movement to reform the Church of England, which resulted in the founding of the Methodist Church late in the eighteenth century. As a young Anglican preacher, he was ordained, and his sermon won over those who were ‘hungry’ for the Word, and antagonized the hardhearted. During Whitefield’s several trips across the Atlantic after 1739, he preached everywhere in the American colonies, often drawing audiences so large that he was obliged to preach outdoors. However, what he preached was nothing more than what other Calvinists had been proclaiming for centuries. He preached that sinful men and women were totally dependent for salvation on the mercy of a pure, all-powerful God. But Whitefield presented that message in new ways. Gesturing...
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