The Great Awakening, which found its beginnings in 1740, was the first event to effectively influence all of the British colonies. In recent years religion had become complacent, and many people were going to church, but not really benefitting from the teachings. Going through the motions and acting like they were gaining something out of it was the main thought of the time. During this time, strong minded evangelists emerged and began preaching with fire-and-brimstone on their tongues; declaring the only way to find salvation was through conversion. This spirited revival became what is known as the Great Awakening. The Great Awakening empowered people to begin thinking on their own, making their own decisions, which brought them closer in relationship with God. The Great Awakening is believed to be one of the reasons the colonists lost favor with the British Empire, and gave rise to the beginnings of the American Revolution. The Great Awakening
The Great Awakening had its beginnings in the American colony of New Jersey. Frelinghuysen and Gilbert Tennent are recognized as the first to organize the Awakening. Frelinghuysen, a Dutch pastor raised in the Dutch reformed churches, began teaching the necessity of deep transformation in the 1720’s. Tennent followed his father when he continued organizing the “log colleges” where many young evangelists received their start in ministry. The works of these two men caused the spark, which ignited the great rivals of the 18th century. In 1734, the Great Awakening continued to spread into the Massachusetts, where a young preacher named Jonathan Edwards pursued it with a passion. Edwards became a well-known pastor, and through his intense sermons the Holy Spirit caused the conversion of many of his followers and non-followers. Another well-known preacher was a young man named George Whitefield. He arrived in the colonies in 1738, and by 1739 began his powerful preaching. Between 1739 and 1741 he began his most noteworthy and powerful ministry in the Americas. He had a voice that reached thousands, and his sermons led many to rise from their seats weeping and convulsing. Many achievements owe its foundation to the Great Awakening. The Great Awakening made it possible for young men to pursue their life’s quest in the ministry of God. It allowed people to think on their own and make decisions based on their own reasoning causing people to remember the exact time and date they were converted. Another major outcome of the Great Awakening was its profound effect on education. Many well-known universities, Princeton and Dartmouth for example, came into being through the works of the great evangelists. In the wake of all the good the Great Awakening accomplished, many controversies arose too. Many of the clergy condemned many ministers who were considered unconverted, and this included people of the congregation as well. Many of their differences caused denominations to split, especially when the new age evangelists collided with the old age. The Great Awakening continued to thrive until the onset of the revolution. Baptist and the First Great Awakening
During the Great Awakening the Baptists arrived late, partly because of the New England establishment of churches they belonged to. The two main figures responsible for the Baptist accepting the Great Awakening was Shubal Stearns and Daniel Marshall. In 1755, the Stearns and Marshall families traveled to the Colony of North Carolina and established the Sandy Creek Baptist Church, which became the mother for some forty additional churches in the region. In 1755, all were committed to the enthusiastically religion of the Separate Baptist, or Go-spellers, with its emotional preaching and religious experience. The Marshalls laid the ground work in ministry, especially when it came to the Native Americans. Following Daniel Marshall’s ordination, many Baptists refused to participate in their ideals because they believed that women were...
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