In the 18th century, many people started becoming lazy in following the Gospel. Many were being hypocrites by calling themselves *Christians but weren’t living like Christians. Some theologians and pastors took this seriously.
So they started making fiery sermons and speeches to bring them back to true belief and following the Gospel correctly. This movement was called the Great Awakening and George Whitefield, who is the focus of today, was only one of the many men who called the people to repentance. There were four stages to the Great Awakening and the last one just ended about 37 years ago in 1980! (Added Note: it wasn’t just Christians that were having trouble. Other religions in the colonies were struggling with the same problem as well).
When Whitefield was in college he claimed to not having a very close relationship with God and all the praying and religious practices he used just felt like he was going through the motions, and doing it to get it out of the way. So, he wanted to fix that and he joined an Enlightenment Group to help. And after attending for some time he found himself on the floor one night praying to God and after, and probably during, the prayer he felt at Peace and filled with the love that his Father in Heaven had for him.
After that he then knew that his calling was to preach. So Whitefield taught and what really helped was that his voice could carry to his whole congregation without needing to raise his voice. One really neat story of Whitfield’s (not sure whether or not it is true) was when Benjamin Franklin attended one of his sermons and he decided he would only listen for a few minutes, and donate some coins but he ended up staying for the whole sermon and probably donated more than just the coins in his pocket because he liked it so much! Mr. Franklin and Mr. Whitefield also became close friends after this. One other thing Whitefield accomplished was help bring an orphanage back to its feet. He also believed this was his calling and so he helped raise funds for it, sometimes traveling to England for the funds.
George Whitefield was a traveling minister for the colonies, never staying in one place for too long a time. He affected many people in the colonies and he brought many back and many more joined him. Of course, it wasn’t easy but it definitely was worth it because now others got to feel that same love he felt when he had needed it.
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