George Whitefield (1714-1770), known to some as the greatest English preacher ever to live, was born in Gloucester, England, in 1714. He attended Pembroke College at Oxford where he became acquainted with John and Charles Wesley. In 1736, Whitefield was ordained by Bishop Benson of Gloucester, and went on to preach throughout London prior to traversing back and forth to America to care for orphans in the colony of Georgia.
Whitefield’s zeal for God’s glory—combined with an uncompromising commitment to preach the unchanging Gospel message—led to the great “Evangelical Awakenings” of England and North America in the 18th Century. For over thirty years, tens of thousands of people gathered to hear Whitefield’s “open air” preaching all throughout England, Scotland, Wales, and North America.
Whether it was in the fields or in a small chapel or in a large church, Whitefield found it worthwhile to preach the Gospel and to see lives converted for Christ. One account estimates that Whitefield preached 40 to 60 hours a week, 1000 times a year for 30 years. Despite the large volume of messages delivered, only 100 or so of his sermons currently exist—of which, 58 can be read on Blue Letter Bible.
Author bio adapted from: George Whitefield’s Published Sermons (Quinta Press, 2015); The Puritans: Their Origins and Successors (The Banner of Truth Trust, 1996); The Company of the Preachers: A History of Biblical Preaching from the Old Testament to the Modern Era (Kregel, 1998); Select Sermons of George Whitefield (The Banner of Truth Trust, 1997).