George Whitefield's First American Preaching Tour
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George Whitefield
Time Period
1739  - 1740
George Whitefield, an Anglican itinerant preacher, established his reputation as the foremost preacher of the First Great Awakening during his first American preaching tour (1739-1740). It began in Pennsylvania on October 1739 and ended in Savannah on November 1740. During this tour, Whitefield traveled thousands of miles across the colonies on horseback, delivering hundreds of sermons. In larger urban centers, such as Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, he preached to enormous crowds that sometimes exceeded 15,000 people, by far the largest such assemblies up to that point in North American colonial history. Some suggest he may have reached at least half the population of the colonies in which he evangelized.

Whitefield’s tour made innovative use of open-air meetings to maximize the number of people who could attend, and his focus on the necessity of believers experiencing a "new birth" played an important role in influencing future evangelicals.
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Whitefield, George

George Whitefield field preaching- Internet Archive

George Whitefield portrait- Internet Archive

George Whitefield preaching in Philadelphia- Internet Archive

George Whitefield preaching at a horse race- Internet Archive

Bethesda Orphanage, Georgia, founded by George Whitefield- Internet Archive
Mahaffey, Jerome Dean, 2011. The Accidental Revolutionary: George Whitefield and the Creation of America. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press.
Noll, Mark A., 2002. The Old Religion in a New World: The History of North American Christianity. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.
Noll, Mark A., 2003. The Rise of Evangelicalism: The Age of Edwards, Whitefield, and the Wesleys. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Web Page Contributor
William S. Cossen
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in History

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