Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Whitefield’s Pulpit

I have been very impacted and challenged by the life of George Whitefield who was born on December 16, 1714 in Gloucester, England and died in Newburyport, Massachusetts on September 30, 1770. He is known for his preaching in America which was very significant during the 18th century movement of Christian revivals, called “The Great Awakening”.
While preaching in the field George Whitefield used this collapsible field pulpit for open-air preaching because the doors of many churches were closed to him. The first recorded use of the pulpit was at Moorsfield, England, April 9, 1742, where Whitefield preached to a crowd estimated at "twenty or thirty thousand people."

Whitefield usually awoke at 4 A.M. before beginning to preach at 5 or 6 A.M. In one week he often preached a dozen times or more and spent 40 or 50 hours in the pulpit. It is estimated that Whitefield preached two thousand sermons from his field pulpit and without any amplification could be heard by more than 30,000 people. In his lifetime, preached at least a total of 18,000 times and addressed perhaps 10,000,000 hearers.

His original pulpit is in Garland, Texas at the American Tract Society where I had to privilege to visit, this past May.

"I believe I never was more acceptable to my Master than when I was standing to teach those hearers in the open fields . . . I now preach to ten times more people than I would if I had been confined to the churches."
George Whitefield

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