Biography

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Jonathan Edwards was born October 5, 1703, in Windsor, Connecticut. His father, Timothy, was pastor of a church there, and his mother, Esther, was the daughter of Solomon Stoddard, pastor of the church at Northampton, Massachusetts. Jonathan was the fifth child and only son among 11 children. He grew up in an atmosphere of Puritan piety, affection and learning. He received rigorous schooling at home, was a child prodigy, and wrote an essay on the nature of the soul at the age of 10. At 13, he entered Collegiate School of Connecticut (Yale University) and graduated in 1720 as valedictorian of his class. After two additional years of study in theology at Yale, he was Pastor for eight months at a New York church and received the M.A. degree in 1723. During most of 1724-26 he was a tutor at Yale. In 1727 he became his grandfather's assistant at the church in Northampton, which had one of the largest and wealthiest congregations in the colony. In the same year, he married Sarah Pierrepont, who combined a deep, sometimes ecstatic piety with personal winsomeness and practical good sense. To them were born 11 children. When Jonathan was 26, his grandfather died, and the young man became pastor at Northampton. He was a firm believer in Calvinism and the doctrine of predestination. A  tendency toward belief in Arminianism, an ideology that challenged many fundamental principles of strict Calvinism, existed at that time in New England. In 1731, at Boston, Edwards preached his first public attack on Arminianism. In a sermon entitled "God Glorified in Man's Dependence," he called for a return to rigorous Calvinism. A few years later he delivered a series of powerful messages on the same subject at his own church. That series included the now famous "Reality of Spiritual Light." Jonathan Edwards was a notable pulpit orator. The result of his 1734-1735 sermons was a religious revival in which a great number of conversions were made. His fiery descriptions of eternal damnation were largely responsible for 300 new members joining his church during this period. In 1740, Jonathan Edwards was visited by George Whitefield, of the English Methodist movement, and Gilbert Tennent, a Presbyterian minister from New Jersey. Thus began the "Great Awakening" which engulfed all of New England and brought countless numbers to Christ over the next two years....and for the most part, prevented any attempt at a liberal interpretation of Scriptural doctrine for the next 70 years. In 1741, Jonathan Edwards preached a sermon entitled 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.' The message was so strong that it caused his local congregation to rise weeping and moaning from their seats. Virtually all of Edwards' sermons now created a demand for sterner religious discipline. Eventually his congregation  turned against him. He began instituting disciplinary proceedings against people that were reading improper books...he stood strongly against  what was called the 'Halfway Covenant.' This was a New England church custom that permitted people that had received baptism to have all the privileges of church membership except communion without having openly professed conversion. A council representing ten congregations in the region dismissed him in 1750. In 1751 he accepted the call to pastor a frontier church at Stockbridge, Massachusetts. He set up a missionary to the Housatonic Indians. Though hampered by language difficulties, illness, Indian wars, and conflicts with powerful enemies, he discharged his pastoral duties, and during the next seven-years wrote many of his most important theological works including 'Freedom of Will.' In this book he denied that human beings have self-determined will that can initiate acts not known or decreed beforehand by God.....that the will is not a separate, self-determining faculty with power to act contrary to the strongest motives, as he understood the Arminians to be teaching.  'Freedom of Will' remains one of the most famous theological works ever written in America. During Jonathan Edwards' seven-year period as Pastor at Stockbridge he wrote many of his most important theological works. In Freedom of Will. (1754) he denied that human beings have self-determined will that can initiate acts not known or decreed beforehand by God.....that the will is not a separate, self-determining faculty with power to act contrary to the strongest motives, as he understood the Arminians to be teaching. He also wrote Dissertation Concerning the End for which God Created the World (1754), and by 1757 he had finished his Great Christian Doctrine of Original Sin Defended (1758). This book was published mainly in reply to John Taylor's works which attacked Calvinism. He perceived the threat in Taylor's notion of man's innate goodness and autonomy. He felt that the whole conception of supernatural redemption was at stake. Edwards understanding of Scripture was that God's glory, not human happiness, is His end in creation. This is because God in His all-sufficient fullness must communicate Himself by the exercise of His attributes. God can be said to aim at the creature's happiness, but it is a happiness that consists in contemplating and rejoicing in God's glory manifested in creation and redemption. In 1757 Jonathan Edwards left Stockbridge to accept the presidency of the College of New Jersey, later known as Princeton University. He was inaugurated in 1758, but five weeks later, on March 22, 1758, he died as a result of an inoculation against smallpox, which was then epidemic. So, from child prodigy to president of Princeton University....in those fifty-five or so years, it may well be stated that it was his ability to combine religious intensity with intellectual rigor and moral earnestness....the cosmic sweep of his theological vision....his emphasis on faith as an "existential" response to reality....his insistence that love is the heart of religion....and his uncompromising stand against all forms of idolatry are some of the reasons his life and writings are being seriously studied to this day.

 

 


R. W. Schambach was an American televangelist, pastor, faith healer and author. He was born on April 3, 1926, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to Harry Ellsworth and Ann Moyer Schambach. An outgoing youth, he was born again on a street corner when an evangelist (C. M. Ward) gave an altar call after preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to a gathered crowd. Robert felt an immediate call to preach but decided to pursue other dreams first. Eventually he joined the U.S. Navy, and served as a navy boiler maker on a destroyer in the South Pacific and Asia during World War II. After seeing God preserve his life during many dangerous encounters and witnessing the repatriation of American POW’s, R.W. totally surrendered to God and determined to preach the gospel wherever God sent him, in order to see others released from the prison and bondage of sin and find the true joy of freedom through Christ. Returning from the war, Schambach enrolled into Bible school, where he met and married his wife, Winnie. He was ordained by C.M. Ward and began pastoring a church. He received his formal training at Central Bible Institute in Springfield, Missouri, in the mid-1940s. He was influenced by the tent crusades of T.L. Osborn and later by A.A. Allen. Many outstanding miracles were accomplished through the ministry of these men and R.W. knew that God had called him to be a part of this. As one of A.A. Allen’s crusades came to an end he asked R.W. to become a part of his team. This began several years of traveling throughout the U.S. helping with the crusades, preaching some services, and doing the advance work. Finally, he felt God calling him to begin his own ministry. He founded 4 ‘tent churches’ in large cities and began his popular radio program, The Voice of Power. His trademark phrase, “You don’t have any trouble. All you need is faith in God” has stirred faith in multitudes. Brother Schambach’s ministry to the hurting has been received in many nations of the world: throughout Europe, Russia, India, Asia, the Philippines, Africa, the West Indies, Central America, and South America. He continued to partner financially with the establishment of churches and Bible schools in Russia and China; with an orphanage in Indonesia and Haiti; with a mega-city outreach in Mexico City; and with urban outreaches in New York City. He preached an uncompromising word of faith, followed by signs and wonders. Schambach was Married to Mary Winifred Donald (born September 3, 1926, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). He met her while she was a student at the Eastern Bible Institute of the Assemblies of God in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, the following year, when on September 4, 1948, (just 1 day after Mary’s birthday), the couple were married, and had two sons and a daughter: Bobby, Bruce and Donna. Donna Schambach is a pastor and faith healer in the Tyler area. Schambach had six grandchildren: Rachel, Bobby III, Mark, Amanda and Christi. He was married to the wife for 61 years before she died from natural causes in Tyler, Texas, on April 20, 2010, at age 83. Two years later (January 17, 2012), Schambach died of a heart attack at the age of 86. He was interred next to his wife at the Cathedral in the Pines Cemetery in Tyler, Texas.

 

 


Lester Roloff, radio evangelist and humanitarian, was born on June 28, 1914, on the family farm near Dawson, in Navarro County, the youngest of three sons of Harry Augustus and Sadie Isabel (McKenzie) Roloff. He received his early education in a one-room country school. Raised in a strict Baptist atmosphere, he determined to preach at age eighteen and the following year picked cotton in West Texas to earn money for his college entrance fees. To pay for his room and board at Baylor University, Lester took his Jersey cow, Marie, with him and sold milk during his first three years of college. After graduating from Baylor in 1936, he attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth for three years. On August 10, 1936, he married Marie Brady; they had one daughter and adopted another. Roloff started preaching during his senior year at Baylor, pastoring country churches at Navarro Mills and Purdon on a half-time basis. After moving to Fort Worth, he pastored the Baptist congregation at Trinidad, in Henderson County. Following graduation from the seminary in 1940, he and his family moved to Houston, where he pastored the Magnolia Park Baptist Church. In the mid-1940s he accepted the pastorate of Park Avenue (later Second) Baptist Church in Corpus Christi, which was henceforth his home base. There he organized the Baptist Ministerial Alliance, of which he was first president, and on May 8, 1944, launched his "Family Altar" radio program over a 250-watt station; later the broadcast was moved to KWBU, a 50,000-watt station in Waco. His home church experienced phenomenal growth, and in 1946 he opened Park Avenue Christian Day School as an extension of that ministry. Almost from the time he began preaching, Roloff was in demand as a revival speaker. In the fall of 1950, he completed the revival meetings of B. B. Crim in Corpus Christi after Crim's death in an accident. That experience led Roloff to resign his pastorate the following spring and go into full-time evangelism. On June 8, 1951, his ministry was incorporated as the Roloff Evangelistic Enterprises. Whether from the pulpit or over the airwaves, Roloff preached a scripturally based, no-nonsense Gospel message that reflected his conservative background and fundamentalist approach. His scathing attacks on alcoholism and other national sins often triggered criticism from more liberal elements, while his renditions of Christian hymns and folk songs like "When Jesus Comes" and "The Little House on Hallelujah Street" won him considerable notice as a Gospel singer. Roloff started a monthly newsletter, Faith Enterprise, in May 1955, and later on he published a small booklet entitled Food, Fasting and Faith, which contained biblical guidelines to wholesome nutrition. During that time, he obtained his pilot's license and started his own "airborne" ministry. Based on his church's success with the Good Samaritan Missions, Roloff and his helpers in 1956 opened the City of Refuge, a rehabilitation center for men and boys whose lives were ruined by drugs, alcohol, or trouble with the law. Originally located near Lexington, in Lee County, the center was moved in 1964 to the lower Rio Grande valley near Mission. Two years later, as the City of Refuge program mushroomed, the men aged twenty-five and older were moved to new facilities on the grounds of an antebellum plantation near Culloden, Georgia, that Roloff Enterprises bought, while the boys remained in the Valley. At Culloden the ministry started its first rehabilitation home for troubled women during the 1960s. In the summer of 1958 Roloff launched his Lighthouse ministry by having a houseboat dormitory built in a remote fishing area on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, accessible only by boat or plane. Here boys and young men addicted to alcohol and drugs or on probation were isolated from civilization for periods of time, so that they could get their lives straightened out in a quiet seaside environment. This program enjoyed phenomenal success, thus necessitating additional facilities, and thousands of young men in jail who were sent to the Lighthouse by judges and probation officers came out as model Christian citizens; many became ministers of the Gospel themselves. In 1969 Roloff Enterprises purchased 600 acres on Farm Road 665 near Cuddihy Field, south of downtown Corpus Christi, for its new headquarters. There Roloff established his People's Baptist Church. Dormitories and a school were erected for the Rebekah Home, as were new facilities for the City of Refuge and Lighthouse ministries. The Jubilee Home was built for troubled women, age eighteen and above, and the Lighthouse, which continued to use the Intracoastal Canal buildings for fishing and camping, limited its ministry to young men between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five. The Anchor Home was begun for troubled boys under the age of eighteen, complete with a Christian school curriculum, a choir program, and vocational-training courses. At the same time the Peaceful Valley Home, a retirement community for Christian senior citizens, was opened near the Lighthouse facility at Mission. In all, over the next decade, Roloff Enterprises erected two rescue missions and eight homes for people of all age groups in need of help. Roloff's greatest battle began in 1971, when the Texas Department of Public Welfare (later the Texas Department of Human Services) sent him a letter demanding that the enterprises either have the Rebekah and Anchor homes licensed, which meant conforming to the department's largely secular regulations, or close them down. Roloff and his associates staunchly opposed the agency's order, considering it a clear case of breach of church-state separation. On February 12, 1974, he allowed himself to be incarcerated for five days in the Nueces County Jail, where he had often preached to prisoners, in a successful move to reopen the homes. Despite his intermittent conflicts with the DHS, the visionary Roloff continued to expand his ministries. In 1980 attention was brought to him by a burdened missionary of the desperate plight of American Indians in the desert Southwest. As a result, in February 1982, Roloff purchased seventy-five acres of farmland in Fort Thomas, Arizona, near the San Carlos Apache Reservation. Christened "Regeneration Reservation," this ministry was set up to make disciples of young Indian students and train them to reach others among their people. Regeneration Baptist Church, pastored by Roloff staff associate Scott Murphy, became the nucleus of this enterprise. At many of his engagements, Roloff often remarked how he looked forward to taking that "ride" to Heaven. Throughout his ministry he had piloted several small aircraft on his tours and had experienced a few near-mishaps. On November 2, 1982, Roloff and four young female staff workers were killed when their plane crashed near Normangee, in Leon County, during a flight to a preaching and singing service they were scheduled to conduct. Following a memorial service, he was interred in Memory Gardens Cemetery across the road from and near the home in which the Roloffs had lived since 1972.

 


Henry Ward Beecher (June 24, 1813 – March 8, 1887) was an American Congregationalist clergyman, social reformer, and speaker, known for his support of the abolition of slavery, his emphasis on God's love. Beecher was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, the eighth of 13 children born to Lyman Beecher, a Presbyterian preacher from Boston. His siblings included author Harriet Beecher Stowe, educators Catharine Beecher and Thomas K. Beecher, and activists Charles Beecher and Isabella Beecher Hooker, and his father became known as "the father of more brains than any man in America". Beecher's mother Roxana died when Henry was three, and his father married Harriet Porter, whom Henry described as "severe" and subject to bouts of depression. Beecher also taught school for a time in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. The Beecher household was "the strangest and most interesting combination of fun and seriousness". The family was poor, and Lyman Beecher assigned his children "a heavy schedule of prayer meetings, lectures, and religious services" while banning the theater, dancing, most fiction, and the celebration of birthdays or Christmas. The family's pastimes included story-telling and listening to their father play the fiddle. Henry Ward Beecher’s rhetorical focus on Christ's love has influenced mainstream Christianity to this day. He graduated from Amherst College in 1834 and Lane Theological Seminary in 1837 before serving as a minister in Indianapolis and Lawrenceburg, Indiana. In 1847, Beecher became the first pastor of the Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, New York. He soon acquired fame on the lecture circuit for his novel oratorical style in which he employed humor, dialect, and slang. Over the course of his ministry, he developed a theology emphasizing God's love above all else. He also grew interested in social reform, particularly the abolitionist movement. In the years leading up to the Civil War, he raised money to purchase slaves from captivity and to send rifles — nicknamed "Beecher's Bibles" — to abolitionists fighting in Kansas. He toured Europe during the Civil War, speaking in support of the Union. After the war, Beecher supported social reform causes such as women's suffrage and temperance.

 


Jerry Falwell was born on August 11, 1933 in the Fairview Heights region of Lynchburg, Virginia along with his twin brother, Gene, to Helen Virginia and Carey Hezekiah Falwell. His father was an entrepreneur and an agnostic, his grandfather a staunch atheist and his mother was a devout Christian. He was good in studies and also excelled at sports. After passing his high school, he joined the Lynchburg College in 1950 and underwent a religious conversion in 1952. He later transferred to Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Mo., and graduated in 1956. Shortly after graduation, in 1956, Jerry founded the Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, in an abandoned building, with an initial congregation of 35 adults and their families. Their first project was scrubbing cola off the brick walls. In 1956, he also began a half-hour radio broadcast called 'The Old-Time Gospel Hour'. In 1971, the broadcast became a TV show and with a target audience in millions. He opposed the US public education system owing to the view that it inculcated the views of secularism, atheism and humanism in the students, which were very much against the Christian moral teachings and called for a school voucher system. In 1967, he expressed his desire to create a Christian educational system for the evangelical youth and soon established the Lynchburg Christian Academy. He founded the Liberty University in Virginia in 1971. Gradually, it became the largest university in Virginia, the largest private, non-profit university in the nation and the largest Christian university in the world. He was a thorough Bible-fanatic and believed that reading it was the only way of laying a strong family foundation and achieving spiritual learning and guidance. The church according to him was a place for the interaction of like-minded brethren. Jerry established the Moral Majority political action committee during 1979 to unite the protest against US President Jimmy Carter and his rule of revoking the tax-exempt status from Christian Schools. The committee was promoted as being pro-life, pro-traditional family, pro-moral and pro-American and by the '1990s it became the largest political lobby groups for evangelical Christians. In the 1980 Presidential election Ronald Reagan won against incumbent Jimmy Carter by a big margin and this feat was credited to the committee and their 2/3rd white, evangelical Christians voting for him. Throughout his life, he remained a staunch supporter for the State of Israel and it was referred to as Christian Zionism. In his book 'Listen America' he quotes that the Jewish people are 'spiritually blind and desperately in need of their Messiah and savior'. Jerry founded the Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg in 1956 and now it is a mega church with 22000 members and also includes a day school, a live-in rehabilitation center for alcoholics, a summer camp for children, a transportation service. Jerry founded the Moral Majority—a political action committee—in 1979 to promote religious segregation and it grew to several million members in a short time. The committee was disbanded after having accomplished its mission. Jerry Falwell received three honorary doctorates in his life: Doctor of Divinity from Tennessee Temple Theological Seminary, Doctor of Letters from California Graduate School of Theology and Doctor of Laws from the Central University in Seoul, South Korea. Jerry married Macel Pate on April 12, 1958. The couple had three children, two sons (Jerry Jr and Jonathan) and a daughter (Jeannie). He was strongly against homosexuality and reprimanded the addition of LGBT-friendly Metropolitan Community Church into the World Council of Churches. He believed that Islam was a satanic religion and that their prophet Muhammad was a terrorist. Although, he apologized to the Muslims community, he didn't remove these comments from his website. Jerry Falwell passed away due to cardiac arrhythmia or sudden cardiac death on May 15, 2007 in the Lynchburg General Hospital. He was 73.

 


Billy Graham was born on November 7, 1918 on a dairy farm near Charlotte, North Carolina, to William Franklin Billy Graham Senior, a businessman and farmer and his wife Morrow Coffee Graham. He was the eldest child of the family with two younger sisters and a brother. In 1934, at the age of 16, he attended a series of revival meetings in Charlotte by an evangelist, Mordecai Fowler Ham, which changed his personality and he decided to commit his life to Christ. He graduated from Sharon High School in 1936 and enrolled at Bob Jones College, Cleveland but left it after a few months. In 1937, he attended the Florida Bible Institute and graduated with a bachelor’s degree, in Theology in 1940. In December 1938, he was baptized by the church's pastor, Rev. Cecil Underwood in Silver Lake. Later, he was ordained by Rev. Underwood and other local pastors as a Southern Baptist minister in the St. John's River Association. In 1940, he enrolled at the Wheaton College, Illinois, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology in 1943. He served briefly as a pastor of the First Baptist Church in Western Springs, Illinois, in 1943-44. From 1948-1952, he served as the President of Northwestern Bible College in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 1949, a group called ‘Christ for Greater Los Angeles’ invited him to preach at their L.A. revival and people emerged in large numbers to witness this event. This extended the revival for an additional five weeks and with the heavy coverage from the wire services and newspapers, he became a national figure. After the World War II, America’s cultural climate was under the threat of Communism. He preached against it and made evangelism a non-threatening and easy approach to overcome the fears of war and agony. People turned to spirituality for comfort and he became their leader and a ray of hope. He held evangelistic meetings on a number of college campuses—at the University of Minnesota in 1950-51, a 4-day mission at Yale University in 1957, and a week-long series of meetings at the University of North Carolina's Carmichael Auditorium in September 1982. He led a series of meetings in the United Kingdom, called Mission England, where he used outdoor football grounds as venues in 1984. In 1991, he held his largest event in North America on the Great Lawn of New York's Central Park. In 1950 he founded ‘Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’ (BGEA), a ministry to preach the gospel to a larger number of people around the world and encourage them to join their community. It included a radio program, television broadcasts and magazines. With the modernization of technology, it has also developed web portals for spreading the message of Christianity to the world. He has served as an active adviser to many presidents of America, from Harry S. Truman to Barack Obama. His views and ideologies on political affairs have been appreciated worldwide and influenced a lot of people and communities around the globe. In 1965, he was honored with the American Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award and Horatio Alger Award. In 1967, he became the first Protestant to receive an honorary degree from Belmont Abbey College, a Roman Catholic school. He was awarded the International Brotherhood Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews in 1971. He received the American Jewish Committee's First National Inter-Religious Award and Southern Baptist Radio and Television Commission's Distinguished Communications Medal in1977. He was rewarded with Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, in 1983. In 1989 Graham received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

He received the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation Freedom Award, for monumental and lasting contributions to the cause of freedom in 2000. In 2001, he was awarded the Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) for his international contribution to civic and religious life for over 60 years. He met Ruth McCue Bell, the daughter of a general surgeon, while studying at Wheaton College. They got married on August 13, 1943, after his graduation in anthropology. They had five children together—Virginia Leftwich Graham, Anne Graham Lotz, Ruth Graham, Franklin Graham and Nelson Edman Graham—and 19 grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren. Ruth died in 2007 due to pneumonia. She had been suffering from degenerative osteoarthritis for months before her death. The Reverend Billy Graham died at age: 99 on February 21, 2018.


 

William Bradford was born in Austerfield, Yorkshire, England in March, 1590. At the young age of 12, he found himself caught up in the fervor of the Protestant Reformation and became a dedicated member of the Separatist Church (the 'left wing' of Puritanism). Seven years later he joined a group of nonconformists who migrated to Holland in 1609 seeking religious freedom, where he became an apprentice to a silk manufacturer. Dissatisfied there, he helped organize an expedition of about 100 'pilgrims' to the New World in 1620. Aboard ship, Bradford helped frame the historic Mayflower Compact, an agreement for voluntary civil cooperation that became the foundation of the Plymouth government. The following year he was unanimously chosen as governor of Plymouth Colony and was re-elected 30 times. Soon after becoming governor he negotiated a treaty with Massasoit, the chief of the Wampanoag tribe. Under the treaty, which was vital to the maintenance and growth of the colony, Massasoit disavowed claims to the Plymouth area and pledged peace with the colonists. The first Thanksgiving Day celebration was organized by Bradford in 1621. William Bradford is well remembered for his contribution in nurturing a fledgling colony's democratic institutions such as the franchise and town meeting, setting a pattern for national political development in years to come. Although he called himself a Congregationalist, he discouraged sectarian labels and made a point of welcoming all Separatist groups to New England shores. In addition, he evolved means of assimilating nonbelievers into the life of the colony. William Bradford died at Plymouth on May 9, 1657. His History of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647, was published 200 years after his death and is a unique source of great detail and description of both the sea voyage and the hardships and challenges faced by the settlers.


 

Billy Sunday was born on November 19, in either 1862 or 1863, in Ames, Iowa. His full name was William Ashley Sunday. He grew up an orphan and worked as an undertaker's assistant before entering professional baseball. Billy played professionally from 1883 until 1891,then left the game to work for the Young Men's Christian Association in Chicago. He began evangelizing in 1896 and was ordained a Presbyterian minister about seven years later. Billy Sunday was theologically a Fundamentalist. Following the lead of Dwight L. Moody, and with the help of choir director Homer A. Rodeheaver and a number of revival specialists, Billy Sunday conducted more than 300 revivals across the United States with an estimated attendance of over 1 million people. This total is thought by many to be the largest number of people ever evangelized by one person before the use of radio and TV broadcasting. Billy Sunday was also prominent in the movement to prohibit liquor sales in this country. He reached the peak of his fame at his New York City Revival in 1917, two-years before prohibition became national policy by Constitutional amendment. Considered by some critics to be a sensationalist, he nevertheless gained the enthusiastic support of Evangelical churches and influential laymen throughout the land. After all, convincing 1 million people to "hit the sawdust trail,"....to get them to come forward and profess their conversion to Jesus Christ, due to one man's preaching is, in my opinion, sensational indeed. Billy Sunday passed on in Chicago on November 6, 1935


 

William Booth was born in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England on April 10, 1829. The son of a speculative builder, he was apprenticed as a boy to a pawnbroker. At age 15 he underwent the experience of religious conversion. William Booth went to London in 1849 where he worked in a pawnbroker's shop at Walworth. He hated the business but was bound to it by the necessity of sending money home. It was during this time period that William met Catherine Mumford, his future wife and lifelong helpmate. By 1852, at age 23, he had become a regular preacher of the Methodist New Connection, and in 1855 he married Catherine. After nine years in the ministry William Booth broke loose from the New Connection and began his career as an independent revivalist. He held to the simple belief that eternal punishment was the fate of the unconverted and had a profound pity for the outcast and a hatred of dirt, squalor, and suffering. In 1864 he went to London and continued services in tents and in the open air. He founded at Whitechapel the Christian Mission, which became the Salvation Army in 1878. He modeled its "Orders and Regulations" on those of the British army, and its early 'campaigns' caused violent opposition. For many years his followers were subjected to fines and imprisonment as lawbreakers. After 1889, these disorders were rarely heard of, as the "Army" operations were extended to the United States, Australia, the European continent, India, Ceylon, and elsewhere. General Booth himself was an indefatigable traveler, organizer, and speaker. He and his 'Army' moved forward with homes for the homeless, training centers, rescue homes for fallen women, homes for released prisoners, and practical help for the alcoholic, all in the name of Jesus. By 1905, William Booth was being praised by King Edward VII, and was received in state my the mayors and corporations of many towns. This fiery old man with a concern for the outcast went home to the Lord on August 20, 1912, at London, England.

 


 

Dwight Lyman Moody was born on February 5, 1837 in the rural farm community of East Northfield, Massachusetts. He left his mother's farm at the age of 17 to work in Boston where he converted from Unitarianism to Congregationalism. He soon became a prosperous shoe salesman and in 1856 moved from Boston to Chicago. There, in 1860 Moody gave up his business and began full time missionary work. His Sunday school in North Market Hall developed into the the Illinois Street Church in 1863, and afterward became known as the Chicago Avenue Church, of which he was lay pastor.(This church was later renamed the Moody Memorial Church.) Dwight Moody also worked with the Young Men's Christian Association, was later named president of the Chicago YMCA, and engaged in much slum mission work.  In 1870 he met and was joined by American singer and hymn composer Ira Shankey, and together they became noted for contributing to the growth of the "gospel Hymn." Together they made extended fundamentalist evangelical tours across the United States and Great Britain. Dwight Moody shunned divisive sectarian doctrines...He deplored the so called "higher criticism of the Bible...the Social Gospel movement and the theory of evolution. In mass revivals, financed by prominent businessmen, he colorfully and intensely preached "the old-fashioned Gospel," emphasizing a literal interpretation of the Bible and looking toward the premillenial Second Coming. Moody ardently supported many charities but felt that social problems could only be solved by the Divine regeneration of individuals. As well as conducting revivals, Moody directed annual Bible conferences in his hometown of Northfield, Massachusetts, opened the Northfield Seminary for Young Women in 1879, and the Mount Hermon School for Boys in 1881. In 1886 he founded the Chicago Evangelization Society (known today as the Moody Bible Institute) in Chicago to train Christian workers.

 

Dwight Lyman Moody went home to our Lord on December 22, 1899.

 


 

William Tyndale was born between 1490 and 1494 near Gloucestershire, England. He was educated at the University of Oxford where he received his Master's Degree. Tyndale was ordained in 1515 and went on to the University of Cambridge where he became an instructor.

 

In 1521, while still at Cambridge, he fell in with a group of humanist scholars meeting at the White Horse Inn. Tyndale became convinced that the Bible alone should determine the practices and doctrines of the Church and that every believer should be able to read the Bible in his own language. He therefore set out to translate the Scriptures from the Greek to English in order to combat corruption in the English Church as well as extend scriptural knowledge to the common people of England.

 

Needless to say, Tyndale found no support from the Bishop of London, so he traveled to Germany in 1524, where he met Martin Luther. With financial support from wealthy London merchants, his New Testament translation was completed in July 1525. Printing began at Cologne, and when Catholic authorities suppressed it, completed at Worms. The first copies reached England in 1526. He published an annotated translation of the Pentateuch in 1530, and began work on a complete Old Testament translation but was captured in Antwerp by imperial representatives. After 16 months of imprisonment, William Tyndale was executed at Vilvoorde, near Brussels, on October 6, 1536.

 

At the time of his death, several thousand copies of his New Testament had been printed. Only one intact copy remains today at London's British Library. The first vernacular English text of any part of the Bible to be published, Tyndale's version became the basis for most subsequent English translations, beginning with the 1611 King James version.

 


 

John Eliot, often called the "Apostle to the Indians," was born at Widford, Hertfordshire, England in 1604. He graduated from Jesus College at the University of Cambridge in 1622. Influenced by American Congregationalist clergyman Thomas Hooker, Eliot became a nonconformist and emigrated to the New World in 1631.  For a time after arriving, he assisted at the First Church in Boston and in 1632 he was named "teacher" of the church in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He was Pastor there from 1632 until the time of his death. With the support of his congregation and fellow ministers, Eliot began a mission to the Indians. After first learning the local native dialect, he preached without an interpreter before the Native Americans at Nonantum (now Newton, Massachusetts) in 1646. Thereafter he devoted most of his time to instructing them. Groups of "praying Indians" soon arose and he gathered them into 16 different settlements, of which Natick, Massachusetts was the first. It was established in 1651. John Eliot's activities inspired the creation of the Company for Propagating the Gospel in New England in 1649. This was the first genuine missionary society. His methods set the pattern of subsequent Indian missions for almost two centuries. John Eliot's converts were gathered into Christian towns, governed by a biblical code of laws, and gradually introduced to the English manner of life. Each village had a school where the Indians were taught English along with the handicrafts by which they could support themselves. After extensive testing, the new believers were organized by covenant into a Puritan "church-state," and native teachers and evangelists were trained. John Eliot himself produced the needed literature in the Massachusetts Algonguian language, beginning with his primer or catechism of 1654. His translation of the New Testament appeared in 1661, the Old Testament in 1663. Among his other works are The Christian Commonwealth (1659) and The Harmony of the Gospels (1678). John Eliot died on May 21, 1690 at Roxbury, Massachusetts Bay Colony.

 

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