Charles G. Finney

American revivalist preacher and educator


August 29, 1792
August 16, 1875
Related topics
Biography, Evangelistic work, Finney, Charles Grandison,--1792-1875, Congregational churches--Clergy, Evangelists,


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Finney was born in Litchfield county, Conn., on Aug. 27, 1792. He studied law from 1818 to 1821, when he had a sudden conversion experience. After this he began to preach and was licensed to preach by the Presbyterian denomination in 1824. Wherever he traveled he started extensive religious revivals.

Finney was criticized because he emphasized the will of man in the process of regeneration and employed revival techniques that became known as "New Measures", calculated to evoke a highly emotional response. Impatient with Presbyterianism, he became a Congregationalist, serving New York City's Broadway Tabernacle.

Finney was appointed professor of theology at Oberlin College (1835), minister of the First Congregational Church at Oberlin (1837), and was named president of the college in 1852. His Lectures on Revivals (1835) became a handbook for American revivalists, and his Lectures on Theology (1846) indicate the modifying influence of evangelicalism on American Calvinism. Finney died at Oberlin on Aug. 16, 1875.

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