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huzzah!) One time he even spoke to 30,000 people at a single event in Boston, Massachusetts. The year after his conversion, at the age 21, George Whitefield was ordained an Anglican priest. Encyclopedia.com. His unrivaled preaching ability, evangelistic fervor, and irregular methods paved the way for the Protestant … Largely forgotten today, George Whitefield was probably the most famous religious figure of the eighteenth century. Encyclopedia of World Biography. Whitefield's old friend, John Wesley, with whom he had reconciled, praised him at his memorial service. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. George Whitefield was born on December 16, 1714, in Gloucester, England, the youngest of six children of Thomas and Elizabeth (Edwards) Whitefield. . Methodists were highly critical of the Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Whitefield moved across the colonial landscape in a brilliant flash that lasted one month. (December 21, 2020). Those whom he could not reach with convictions of their sins were nevertheless moved by the power of his eloquence. Whitefield's Boston visit lasted 10 days. s. c. henry, George Whitefield: Wayfaring Witness (Nashville 1957). In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Encyclopedia.com. While Whitefield was in Boston he also met Jonathan Edwards (see entry), the famous Puritan preacher. Whitefield then returned to Gloucester and formed his own society. It was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants, from being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seemed as if all the world were growing religious, so that one could not walk through the streets in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street. Multitudes clamored to hear him, for it was the common people who One of these such articles was entitled “Of Predestination and Election” and held to a Calvinistic position. He died the next day and, in accordance with his wishes, he was buried in Newburyport. Wherever he appeared, crowds seemed to materialize out of nowhere. In February 1738 he embarked on the first of his seven voyages across the Atlantic. (In 1741 Whitefield became the leader of the Calvinist Methodists.) ." Gilbert Tennent adopted his attacks against ministers and brought them to new heights; James Davenport turned his dramatic techniques into a parody; lay preachers proliferated, mouthing whatever their audiences wished to hear; and churches splintered into vitriolic factions. He was a magnet, and to his last sermon, preached the day before his death, he could cast a spell over his hearers, even though by now they knew his power was of the moment only. In September he embarked on another tour of New England and then was off to Scotland, sparking revivals there. George Whitefield, B.A. At the age of 18 he obtained a position as a servitor at Pembroke College, Oxford, working as a domestic to pay his lecture fees. Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Worldly Business No Plea for the Neglect of Religion 5 Whitefield's Sermons George Whitefield. Unlike Edwards, Whitefield was a British minister who moved to colonial America. At Oxford, Whitefield met John Wesley and Charles Wesley, brothers who had founded a society called the Oxford methodists in 1729. Retrieved December 21, 2020 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/george-whitefield. George Whitefield was an Anglican minister who scorned theology for whatever message would spark the conversion of people of all religious persuasions in England, Scotland, Ireland, and America. He shouted, stomped, sang, and always wept. By showing people in widely distant places that they shared an interest in the revival of religion, he contributed to eroding the insularity and provincialism that had hitherto isolated colonial Americans. ." Born in humble circumstances in Gloucester, England, Whitefield received his bachelor of arts degree from Oxford in 1736, the same year in which Bishop Martin Benson ordained him as deacon in the Church of England. His revivals became routine and even acceptable to society. Mahaffey (a fellow Memphis grad! Worse yet, lay preachers (those who are not officially ordained) took up Whitefield's themes, proclaiming whatever views their audiences wanted to hear. The Great Awakening was a period of renewed evangelism and Protestant religious fervor that spread throughout Europe and America. He began to preach in the fields, an innovation that delighted his listeners and forced him to employ a more powerful voice and style than even he thought possible. "Pedlar in Divinity:" George Whitefield and the Transatlantic Revivals, 1737–1770. In public he subsumed his privately sweet and gentle personality beneath such dramatic preaching that it engendered an unearthly egoism in a man who was committed to bring salvation to all. . They also advocated evangelical preaching (zealously encouraging believers and nonbelievers to make a personal commitment to Christianity). He neither understood theology (religious philosophy) nor considered it to be important in his mission of inspiring people to seek salvation (forgiveness of sins). (December 21, 2020). He preached in all of them and also on the Common, where thousands could assemble. His heart had been in the right place, he maintained, and his dramatic flair had simply gotten out of hand. . Retrieved December 21, 2020 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/whitefield-george. "Whitefield, George Boston, Massachusetts He preached to tens of thousands of people at a time, before there were microphones. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html. Upon his ordination as an Anglican deacon in July 1736, he preached his first sermon at St. Mary de Crypt. By 1744 Whitefield’s meteoric rise to fame was ending. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Whitefield spent the winter in Georgia, but he composed press releases to insure that he was not forgotten in the other colonies. . He was educated at Pembroke College at the University of Oxford where he participated in, and even led, the "holy club" of Charles and John Wesley. During this time he had phenomenal success. He began delivering his sermons in the fields, an innovation that delighted his listeners. When he arrived in Philadelphia in 1739, his reputation had preceded him, and the inhabitants rushed to meet this “boy preacher” who had attained such fame before he was twenty-five years old. Encyclopedia of the American Revolution: Library of Military History. https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/whitefield-george-1714-1770, "Whitefield, George (1714-1770) . ." Departing from Anglican doctrine, he presented Methodist views of Christianity to his congregation with great emotion and enthusiasm. Encyclopedia of the American Revolution: Library of Military History, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, Asbury, Francis His first religious raptures also belong to these early years. Calvinist in his own theological stance, Whitefield found his greatest reception from similarly oriented denominations: Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Dutch Reformed, and (later) Baptists. 21 Dec. 2020 . (Matt. Some speculate that Whitefield needed the frequent sailing times to and from England (he visited America seven times) to rest from his hectic pace otherwise he would have died. ." Then from the middle 1740's to early 1950's, Whitefield preached throughout Great Britain, Ireland, and America. Many other preachers also began delivering sermons outdoors. Transatlantic Revivalist. Any pious project that required broad support found George Whitefield either assisting or directing the effort. During this time one of Whitefield's brothers took over the family business. George Whitefield has been called the father of mass evangelism in the Christian religion and the most widely recognized figure in America before George Washington. Using a rigorous method of rhetorical analysis, Mahaffey cogently argues that George Whitefield directed the evolution of an American collective religious identity that lay underneath the emerging political ideology that fueled the American Revolution. After an absence of less than one year, Whitefield returned to England late in 1738 to receive his ordination as priest, to strengthen his ties with the trustees of the Georgia colony, and to learn that England's hierarchy looked askance at his cavalier attitude toward canon law and the liturgical form of the national church. ." For an entire generation Whitefield not only created an evangelical Atlantic community, he embodied it. George Whitefield (pronounced Whitfield) was closely identified with John and Charles Wesley, the founders of Methodism, until 1741 when he began to espouse Calvinistic views. ." Encyclopedia.com. Whitefield had the cooperation of many Congregationalist, Presbyterian, and Reformed clergymen, but was usually turned away by his Anglican colleagues. Welcomed by ministers and officials of colonies and towns, he found shops closed and business suspended during his stays, thousands of people at his heels, and many following him to the next town. The evangelical preacher George Whitefield (1714-1770), along with John and Charles Wesley, is largely responsible for leading the spiritual Great Awakening in America and Evangelical Revival in … In public he set aside his sweet and gentle personality to become a riveting, even intimidating speaker. Matthew 8:22, "Let the dead bury their dead." When Whitefield spoke, mobs gathered and managed to drown out his powerful voice. As he proceeded, I began to soften and concluded to give the coppers. . In contemporary accounts, he, not John Wesley, is spoken of as the supreme figure and even as the founder of Methodism. Whitefield, for his part, repeatedly and needlessly alienated those who stopped short of uncritical adulation and applause. [U.S.]), Church of England evangelist who by his popular preaching stimulated the 18th-century Protestant revival throughout Britain and the British American colonies. The revival of evangelical Christianity in American colonies, initiated by Jonathan Edwards, overcame the lack of zeal that characterized most American congregations. A marvelous performer, he acted out his parts, used thunderstorms to punctuate his sentences, and created imaginary dialogues with biblical characters in tones that carried to the farthest edges of the crowd. I had in my pocket a handful of copper money, three or four silver dollars, and five pistoles in gold. This tavern, of which his father was proprietor, located in a rough neighborhood, was his childhood home. https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/whitefield-george, JOHN BOWKER "Whitefield, George He shouted, stomped, sang, and always wept. Impressed by Whitefield's success in lifting Christians out of their "lethargy" (lack of religious fervor), Edwards invited the reformer to preach to his congregation at Northampton, Massachusetts. After his departure, the declarations of several leading ministers, and later still the testimonies of Harvard College and Yale against him, provided considerable check to the earlier unqualified admiration. He wintered in Georgia, but composed press releases to insure that he was not forgotten. Gaustad, Edwin "Whitefield, George Whitefield then returned to Georgia for a well-publicized confrontation with an Anglican group, thus keeping his name in the news. George Whitefield is one of the most important men from the formative period of the American colonies. George Whitefield, (born Dec. 27, 1714, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, Eng.—died Sept. 30, 1770, Newburyport, Mass. 21 Dec. 2020 . . As a result, churches splintered into bitter factions. Stout, Harry S. The Divine Dramatist: George Whitefield and the Rise of Modern Evangelism. An ordained … 06. He received financial assistance from Lady Elizabeth Hastings, who continued to support him and his causes later in life. "George Whitefield Crowds followed Whitefield as he spoke. Whitefield began to preach with amazing success. ReligionFacts provides free, objective information on religion, world religions, comparative religion and religious topics. He later said he could see “white gutters made by their tears” as they rolled down their blackened faces. The Oxford Companion to British History. Encyclopedia of World Biography. He also learned that by attacking the Anglican clergy for closing their pulpits to him, he could draw even larger crowds. Whitefield's message was simple: "Repent and you will be saved." By the time Whitefield was preaching in America, the Great Awakening had already broke out. He also raised funds for "the poor of Georgia," with the goal of starting a school and orphanage with the Wesleys. Two recent scholarly biographies elevate Whitefield studies to a higher plauteau: Harry S. Stout, The Divine Dramatist: George Whitefield and the Rise of Modern Evangelicalism (Grand Rapids, Mich., 1991); and Frank Lambert, Pedlar in Divinity: George Whitefield and the Transatlantic Revivals, 1737–1770 (Princeton, N. J., 1994). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/george-whitefield, "George Whitefield The Great Awakening in America can ultimately be traced to this one man. Whitefield took the Calvinist position, whereas John Wesley sided with the liberals (advocates of less strict interpretation of religious doctrine). "Whitefield, George Whitefield was offered a lucrative position in London, yet in spite of being in debt, he declined the opportunity. Middleton, Richard. While he couldn't find a church in England to let him speak, in America he couldn't find a church that could contain his audience. For instance, Gilbert Tennent adopted Whitefield's strategy of attacking Anglican ministers, taking it to disturbing heights. At his busiest during this three-year tour, Whitefield preached three sermons a day. 21 Dec. 2020 . . ." Another stroke of his oratory made me ashamed of that and determined me to give the silver; and he finished so admirably that I emptied my pocket wholly into the collector's dish, gold and all. Died: September 30, 1770, in Newburyport, Massachusetts, United States. "George Whitefield During his childhood Whitefield had the measles, which left him with crossed eyes and a squint. His father died when George was just two years old, leaving his mother to keep their inn running and support her family as best as she could. At Oxford, Whitefield met John and Charles Wesley, joined the Holy Club, and practiced religious asceticism for a time. Extremist Imitators. He began field preaching in a coal-mining town in 1739, and open-air. Pollock, John Charles. No wonder his head was turned by such adulation. Encyclopedia.com. Sources of information of Whitefield are his own A Continuation of the Reverend Mr. Whitefield's Journal (1740); Luke Tyerman, Life of the Rev. WHITEFIELD, GEORGE. He also always focused on the audience as he never used notes. He was born in 1714 and died in 1770. He apologized for his youthful egotism, which had caused religious chaos and unjustified abuse of other ministers. Franklin had previously dismissed as exaggeration reports of Whitefield preaching to crowds of the order of tens of thousands in England. Encyclopedia of the American Revolution: Library of Military History. During his two-year sojourn in England, Whitefield's success as a preacher increased beyond all expectation. Born August 20?, 1745 (Staffordshire, England) Died March 31, 1816 (Spotsylvania, Virginia) Encyclopedia of the American Revolution: Library of Military History. Known For: Anglican clergyman famous for his spellbinding, revival-style preaching to most of the 18 th -century English-speaking world during “The Great Awakening.”. George Whitefield. He returned to England to take priest's orders in the Church of England and to collect money to build an Orphan House for the Georgia mission. John Winthrop's Christian Experience Whitefield responded to this and to many other charges contained in the letter: that he preached extemporaneously in the open fields, that he criticized the national clergy, and that he claimed to "propagate a new Gospel, as unknown to the generality of ministers and people"—all this, said the bishop, in what is surely a Christian country already. Edited by Giles Gunn As a part of ordination process, all candidates* were required to affirm the Thirty-Nine Articles (as found in the Book of Common Prayer). were most deeply affected by his preaching. Whitefield also damaged his relationship with the Wesleys by publishing an attack in 1741 upon the Arminianism evident in John Wesley's sermon "Free Grace.". | About Us | How to Cite | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Advertising Info. George Whitefield and the Great Awakening. Encyclopedia.com. He was at first permitted to preach in some of our churches; but the clergy taking a disliking to him, soon refused him from their pulpits, and he was obliged to preach in the fields. Whitefield was born to a poor and widowed inn-keeper in 1714 in Gloucester, England. For the rest of his life he financially supported Bethesda, contributing large amounts of his own money. . 21 Dec. 2020 . World Encyclopedia. 05. In 1737 Whitefield's first published sermon was reprinted two times, and he was in constant demand as a speaker at charity events. George Whitefield (1714-1770) How to Not Foul Up the Discipline of Your Children - by Dr. C. Matthew McMahon; Meditations For Household Piety - by Lewis Bayly (1575-1631) Motives for Family Worship - by Dr. J. Merle D'Aubigne (1794-1872) On the Family and Grace - by Jonathan Edwards ." In spite of being barred from the established church, Whitefield became an instant celebrity in England. George Whitefield was born in 1714 in Gloucester, England. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. Although he was ordained in the Anglican Church (also known as the Church of England, the official religion of the country), he preached Calvinist methodism to people of all Christian denominations in England, Scotland, Ireland, and America. Anglican Church, which relied on priests and rituals as a means of communicating with God. Philadelphians rushed to meet this "boy preacher" who had attained such fame before he was twenty-five years old. George Whitefield (1714-1770) was a notable evangelist of the Great Awakening in 1700s America who turned the Christian evangelical revival into an inter-colonial or “national” movement. offers strong close-readings of primary sermons, writes a captivating narrative about Whitefield's place as a central figure in early American ideology, and breaks down the Methodist and Establishment controversies that circled around his presence both in America and England. (December 21, 2020). The transformation of churches into departments of state affected the religious experiences these institutions offered. "Whitefield, George Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1994. Here he became acquainted with John and Charles Wesley and in 1735 experienced a religious conversion. 21 Dec. 2020 . Whitefield's five later visits were less spectacular, but none lacked extravagance and sensationalism. Met on the road by a committee of ministers and conducted into the town, he found all meetinghouses except King's Chapel open to him. He was famous for his preaching in … Neither they nor Whitefield's own admirers, however, could discourage the twenty-three-year-old Whitefield from setting out for Georgia on the first of seven voyages to America. He was not a thinker; he was not the originator of a new doctrine. Still, by the thousands the people came to hear and to believe, in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England as well as throughout the American colonies. Encyclopedia.com. Encyclopedia of Religion. Word of all this reached America before his arrival, giving him the best preparation he could have asked. ." His parents were innkeepers in Gloucester, and upon Thomas's death in 1716 Elizabeth took over operation of the inn. His first stay in Georgia was brief. After preaching on Saturday, September 29, to an impromptu crowd gathered in the fields of Exeter, New Hampshire, he urged his horse on to Newburyport, Massachusetts. The Grand Itinerant. More than any other preacher of his day, he made the Great Awakening a vital, far-reaching force, religiously, socially, and politically, in America. Whitefield then set out for the southern colonies, traveling through Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, and into Georgia. . His first visit to America followed two years later when he traveled to Savannah, Georgia to help start Bethesda Orphanage. https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/whitefield-george, MACMASTER, R. K. "Whitefield, George ." After another extended American visit (1744–48), he made four more colonial preaching tours (1751–52, 1754–55, 1763–65, 1769–70). 04. WHITEFIELD, GEORGE (1714–1770), English evangelist and itinerant revivalist in America. ." At 21 he professed personal religious conversion, and thereafter to the last day of his life his all-consuming desire was to tell of the "new birth" he had experienced. In England Whitefield was closely associated with Howell Harris, and in 1743 he was chosen to be moderator for life of the Calvinistic Welsh Methodists. Success had come too early. His mother wanted him to have a good education, so she sent him to St. Mary de Crypt school in Gloucester. He was born on December 16, 1714 at the Bell Inn, Gloucester, and died in Newburyport, Massachusetts on September 30, 1770. However, hope of a university education sent him back to his former teacher, who continued his preparation for college, and in his thirteenth year George matriculated at Pembroke College, Oxford, as a servitor. Wherever he preached, crowds materialized out of nowhere. When he arrived in Philadelphia, his reputation had preceded him. An Anglican evangelist and the leader of Calvinistic Methodists, he was the most popular preacher of the Evangelical Revival in Great Britain and the Great Awakening in America. Colonial America Reference Library. This Protestant Christian group earned the nickname "methodists" because of their emphasis on conducting their lives and religious study with "rule and method." Eventually he became notorious for his abusiveness, and critics accused him of simply engaging in self-promotion. Two years later the couple had their only child, a son, who died a few months after birth. At Oxford he met John and Charles Wesley (who founded Methodism), experienced conversion, and joined their pious circle. Nevertheless historians now recognize Whitefield as having made a significant impact on religion in the United States. An anonymous pamphlet spoke for many, in anti-Catholic themes that George Whitefield would later echo, when it described Catholicism as the most "destructive religion in the world; as not deeming any people worthy to live upon the earth, but the slaves of papal jurisdiction." https://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/whitefield-george-0, "Whitefield, George Frank Lambert, “Pedlar in Divinity”: George Whitefield and the Transatlantic Revivals, 1737–1770 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994); Harry S. Stout, The Divine Dramatist: George Whitefield and the Rise of Modern Evangelicalism (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1991). . He opposed the prohibition against the institution in Georgia on the basis that it … New Catholic Encyclopedia. (December 21, 2020). He held people's attention with expressive mannerisms and dramatic body language. Following his ordination in 1736, he preached his first sermon and was amazed at the result, reporting that “I drove 15 mad.” He had found his calling, and news of Whitefield’s ability spread by word of mouth. George Whitefield (1714-1770) was an English evangelist whose preaching in America climaxed the religious revival known as the Great Awakening. His revivals became routine and even acceptable to society; more time was spent in quiet and pious conversations with individuals; and slaves became an object of his attention. . . Before entering Oxford, Whitefield had heard about the Wesleys and had been intrigued by their ideas. After two centuries George Whitefield remains something of a controversial figure, although the controversy no longer deals with praise or blame or the accuracy of his own accounting of 18,000 sermons preached. "Whitefield, George Associated with John and Charles Wesley in an effort to revive a sedate and passionless Anglicanism, Whitefield followed with keen interest the missionary labors of the Wesley brothers in the newly founded colony of Georgia in North America.

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