This Sunday, the Old South will be holding it’s annual Reenactment Service*. Instead of the weekly message from Pastor John, the Rev. George Whitefield will be speaking.
His messages would bring throngs of people often out into a field somewhere just to hear him speak.
His voice would carry for city blocks as scientifically observed by Benjamin Franklin:
“Imagining then a semi-circle, of which my distance should be radius, and that it were filled with auditors, to each of whom I allowed two square feet, I computed that he might well be heard by more than thirty thousand. This reconciled me to the newspaper accounts of his having preached to twenty-five thousand people in the fields, and to the ancient histories of generals haranguing whole armies, of which I had sometimes doubted.”
But his entire life was penned as if by a Hollywood writer!
Though he had been to America before, he officially started his ministry by disembarking from his ship in Newburyport, September 30th, 1740 and ended his ministry in the colonies by passing away exactly thirty years to the day on September 30th, 1770 in the same city. Even his death sparked drama and much hullabaloo! (Learn more at an Old South Tour)
This man came to preach liberty in the land! By the time he was done, this cherished quality ended up embedded in the psyche of the colonists.
Because the church is remembering that special ministry by the Father of the Great Awakening; the man himself will be showing up at the pulpit on the 29th and delivering one of his well-known sermons. Many of the congregation will be period-dressed and the service will commence at 10:30 after the oldest Paul Revere bell n Newburyport is wrung on top of the steeple.
On my cover page of the P. Preservationist website; I like to stress events in town that enhance & promote Newburyport or that support our infrastructure.
Thus many events in this action-packed community aren’t mentioned (Check the Daily News or The Current or one of the commercial websites for an exhaustive listing) but unfortunately, there was nothing in any of these media sources that even mentioned this significant event*.
So I’d figure that would be left to me!
This man is often called the Forgotten Founding Father of America.
Come and meet the man who helped define what an American would be!
* Presbyterians tend to fall into the error of ‘non-promotion’ thru an almost fatalistic misunderstanding of the Calvinist’ s Doctrine of Predestination. If God has pre-ordained events, why bother inviting anyone to a meeting, they’re going to show up anyway! These Calvinists would be a real killjoy on Madison Avenue!