by Stephen Mansfield
For many of those who are even familiar with his name, George Whitfield is thought of as a preacher, a man connected with the Great Awakening in the 1700s. While this is true, it is only part of the story. As a student at Oxford University, he experienced a spiritual awakening under the influence of John Wesley's Methodists and immediately began tending to prisoners, caring for the poor, and preaching the Christian gospel. He met with astounding success, in time speaking to larger crowds than had ever gathered in the history of England.
Whitefield became the most famous man of his age. His impact upon the American colonies, however, may have been his most lasting gift. In seven tours of the colonies, Whitfield preached from Georgia to Maine, calling the colonists to spiritual conversion and challenging them in their sense of national destiny. He befriended men like Benjamin Franklin, converted men like Patrick Henry, and inspired men like George Washington.
Furthermore, when he learned that England intended to tighten her control over the colonies, Whitefield warmed his American friends in sermon after sermon and even accompanied Benjamin Franklin to make the American case in the Court of Saint James. Many of the colonists considered him the father of their revolution. Forgotten Founding Father captures the early struggles and international successes of this amazing leader. The result is a portrait of a gifted but flawed human who yielded himself as a tool in the hands of a sovereign God. Also portrayed is how important Whitfield was to the American cause and how much Americans today owe to him -- a story that will inspire a new generation with a past vividly and truthfully retold.