This is the essay for the 31st week of the 7th Grade Ron Paul Curriculum. It’s about George Whitefield.
George Whitefield was born in Gloucester England in 1714. His parents owned an inn, which kept becoming poorer. Due to this Whitefield couldn’t afford to go to college. But Whitefield still found a way to get to college. He became a servitor to other students at the college to be able to attend. During his time in college, he joined the Holy Club. In the Holy Club, he prayed to God, fasted and read the bible. But it was a very rote routine. Whitefield never felt like he had a personal relationship with God. One day during the Holy Club he started crying out loud because of this. During this crying session, Whitefield felt a conversion. After this, he became passionate about God and started preaching at the Church of Gloucester.
In 1738 Whitefield decided to travel to the America’s as a parish priest. There he started preaching, when he saw an orphanage that needed a lot of help. Then Whitefield decided this would become his life’s work. He returned to England in 1739 to raise money for the orphanage and to preach. He went to the colonies in total 7 times. In America, he didn’t have an assigned Church so Whitefield preached in fields and city squares. Alongside the orphanage, Whitefield was also supporting the Great Awakening which was going on during that time.
Whitefield had a very strong voice. He could be heard from 5 miles away. Some people said the ground shook when he spoke. This allowed him to preach to thousands of people at a time. Whitefield’s strong voice also allowed him to sound confident and powerful. There is a story related to this. It’s called the story of Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin was a skeptic and once went to one of Whitefield’s preachings. At first, he was just going to listen and give nothing to the orphanage. After a few minutes of listening, he decided to give the coins in his pockets and nothing else. After a few more minutes he also decided to give the golden buttons on his shirt. At the end of the meeting, Franklin was a strong supporter of the Orphanage and he even became good friends with Whitefield. But Whitefield also had his haters and his preachings often caused riots. But he many more supporters than haters.
Whitefield even played a role in the American Revolution when he warned the colonists that the King of England was taking their liberties away. The ones the colonists had worked very hard for. In 1770 Whitefield died in a Church in Newburyport, Massachusetts. George Whitefield is remembered as the greatest leader of the Great Awakening.