Charles Grandison Finney

Charles Grandison Finney

Lived 1792 - 1875

Charles Grandison Finney, often called “America’s foremost revivalist,” was a major leader of the Second Great Awakening in America, which had a great impact on the social history of the United States.

In addition to being a successful Christian evangelist, Finney was involved with the abolitionist movement and frequently denounced slavery from the pulpit. Beginning in the 1830s, he denied communion to slaveholders in his churches. Prior to his conversion, he had been (as most lawyers of the time were) a Freemason, but became a staunch opponent of Freemasonry.

He became a professor at Oberlin College, Ohio, and later was President of the College from 1851–1866. Oberlin was a major cultivation ground for the early movement to end slavery, and among the first American colleges to co-educate blacks and women with white men.

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