Charles Grandison Finney (1792-1875)

Above: Photograph courtesy of Oberlin College Archives.
Below: Finney's line of vision. Cartoon courtesy of Geoffrey Blodgett.

Charles Grandison Finney, "American clergyman, revivalist preacher, and educator. 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."

(James H. Smylie [Union Theological Seminary, Richmond Va.] The Encyclopedia Americana -- International Edition Vol. 11. Danbury, Connecticut: Grolier Incorporated, 1995. 238)

For more information on the web about Charles G. Finney and revivalism, please see the following sites: Bethel Congregational Church for links and resources on Finney; Fires of Revival for sermons and articles.

For resource information on the web about Charles G. Finney, please see the Oberlin College Archives.

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