uk revivals timeline

Revivals, Great Awakenings and visitations from God in the United Kingdom over time

John Wycliffe

John Wycliffe

The Bible man

John Wycliffe was born in Yorkshire, England, probably in the year 1328. In 1346 he studied Theology, Philosophy and Canon Law at Oxford. At the age of 26 he became master of Balliol College, Oxford. In 1361 he was ordained by the Catholic Church to become the vicar at Fillingham. He returned to Oxford, where he completed his bachelor’s degree in Theology in 1365 and his doctorate in 1372.

John Wycliffe was invited by Parliament to lead the discussions on papal taxation, since his fame as a theologian was already great. At that time, the papacy was installed in Avignon, France, this was in middle of the hundred years war. Parliament was looking for ways to prevent the collection of ecclesiastical taxes, since the amount collected in England was  enriching France. The Parliament, on the basis of argument provided by Wycliffe, stated that England’s submission to a foreign authority was illegal because it had been decided without the consent of the nation. Until the end of the reign of Edward III, in 1377, England was the only State that assumed, this stance against the Church. 

John Wycliffe supported  Edward III and, on the theoretical basis of royal policy, wrote “A Definition of Property,” with which he defended the right of the state to legislate on the problem of ecclesiastical taxes. With these arguments he gained hostility from the clergy and favours of the English Government. He was appointed rector of Lutterworth, in Leicestershire, in 1374, a position he held until his death.

As early as 1374, Wycliffe received a mission which led him to Bruges, as a Government delegate, to deal with the papal issue of “provisions”, that is, the Holy Father’s traditional right to appoint anyone who wished to hold ecclesiastical offices. Wycliffe was against but did not get anything practical.

In 1376 he published the most important of his works “On Private Property,” in which he affirmed that all rights, including property, emanated from God,  and that the earthly goods of the clergy should be taken and the Church should devote itself only to spiritual matters. It presupposed the need for state encroachment of lands belonging to the Church.

Wycliffe wrote 65 works in English and 96 in Latin. He translated the Bible into English in order to make it accessible to the people. He attacked the ecclesiastical hierarchy. The Church was divided, Clement VII elected by the French clergy in Avignon, and Urban VI, Elected Pope in Rome.  The clash between them, was what Wycliffe needed to call the Popes  Antichrists. He turned against all the dogmas of the Church: absolution of sins, the host, all were a targets  for the attacks of Wycliffe.

Another important point of Wycliffe’s criticism was the defense of the “supreme authority” of Scripture and the non-interference of papal opinion about them and the Christian tradition. This principle attacked the pope’s authority as representing Peter on earth and bearing the “key of the Church.” Wycliffe came to qualify some Popes as  antichrists because of this.

One of his principal treatises was the De veritate Sacrae Scripturae (published in 1378). For Wycliffe, unlike the Pope, the scriptures were infallible. This thesis influenced both Lutheranism and Calvinism and its ramifications. One of Wycliffe’s last actions was to translate the Bible into English. 

The Hundred Years ‘War and the peasants’ revolt brought about the condemnations of the poor Church. Wycliffe was condemned by the archbishop of Canterbury, although he maintained the position of rector. He continued his work and at the end of his life he wrote “Trialogus,” a summary of his theories.

John Wycliffe was a professor at the University of Oxford, a theologian and English religious reformer, considered to be the forerunner of the religious reforms that shook Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. He worked on the first translation of the Bible into the English language, which became known as the Wycliffe Bible.

He died in Lutterworth, England, on December 31, 1384. In 1415, the Council of Constance ordered his remains to be burned and the ashes cast into the waters of the Swift River, at Lutterworth.



“ebiografia.com”  “acessado em: 19/02/2019 / 13pm”  (Dilva Frazão)


john knox

John Knox

Leader and Reformer

One cannot say that there was a revival in Scotland, but rather a Reformation led by John Knox in the 16th century (1560) that triggered major changes in the Church of his Country.

John Knox was born in 1514 in the Lowlands region of Scotland, in or near Haddington, native to the county town of East Lothian. His father William Knox, from a good family, without being especially distinguished, had fought in the Battle of Flodden and was native to the county of Haddington. His mother’s name was Sinclair.

He was ordained a priest before 1540, when his priesthood status was mentioned for the first time. Until 1543 Knox remained under Rome’s command. By this time however, he seemed to have given private lessons instead of having parochial obligations, he was very brave and dynamic making many things happen in his day. He confessed his Protestant faith for the first time in late 1545. The Church was in real chaos, there was a great persecution of Christians and John Knox went to take refuge in Germany where he met Calvin, studied at his school and after a while returned to Scotland again to make a total reformation in the Church with a Calvinist-influenced approach.

In 1559, the Scottish Parliament established the Presbyterian Church. John Knox believed that the Presbyterian system of government was a new form of government as in the New Testament, that is, the Church should be governed by officers elected by the Church itself and not as it currently was; chosen by the state which chose the bishops who led it.

The manifestos of 1560 are more influenced by Knox than any other individual and his confession was very important for the new Church in his declaration about faith, concluding in the introduction of Protestantism by the reformist Parliament. The Sunday service was forever changed through the Knox Liturgy, with the Book of Common Order ordering religious services in the local language and placing the Word as the centerpiece of everything.

Instructions for the Protestant community were given in their Book of Discipline which included topics on general education, measures to help the poor, the elderly and the sick, and more cooperation between the Church and the state.

He worked for the purity of the service, saying that only the Scriptures should guide the way God was to be worshiped – biblical worship. The Church service became a corporate activity where people were actually involved contrary to the model of the Catholic Church. He exchanged Latin for English in meetings and began to use the Bible in English which made it much easier to understand.

The Presbyterian model came from Scotland, so he was considered the Father of the Reformation in Scotland.

From August 1559 until his death, he was the minister of the High Church of Edinburgh or St. Egidio (St. Giles, High Kirk of Edinburgh).





George Fox

George Fox

Quakers - (1624-1691)

George Fox is the first real prophet of the English Reformation. Rufus Jones.



George Fox was born in Leicestershire, England in July 1624. The son of an English weaver, he was raised in the religion of his parents, Anglicanism, the official Protestant religion of England. Unhappy with the creed he professed, he did not feel the presence of God during worship, nor did he see a future in any other religion. In search of a new way of expressing his faith, he had a “vision,” in which the divine will indicated the way to propagate the belief that God communicated directly with the spirit of man. “There is one, the same Christ Jesus, who can speak with thy condition.” This discovery of Christ as a present reality transformed George Fox from a frustrated seeker to joyful discoverer and initiated a great Christian awakening in England George Fox was. At 23 years old   George Fox was already a critic of his culture. When human counselors could not fill his spiritual emptiness, he resorted to Bible reading and prayer. In 1647 he began to preach, travelling and working as a travelling shoemaker. His ministry is centred in Mansfield and Nottinghamshire.


In 1652 he met Margaret Fell of Swarthmore Hall and she was converted. After the death of her husband, Judge Fell, in 1658, she married George in 1669. Margaret Fell became the principal organizer of the Society of Friends.


Much influenced by Anglicanism, the fulfillment of the Quakers´ mission began in the north of England with massive adherence. In 1652 the Society of Friends was positively established. Soon the movement spread rapidly from the north of the country to Bristol and London, carried by numerous Quaker ministers. The Friends would be dressed in black; they had a formal way of communicating, and extreme fervor also identified them. They were called Quakers: “those who tremble before God.”

In 1660, with more than 40,000 members, George Fox and his Society began to face problems with the Official Church by opposing it with his concept of faith. He was also opposing the State by advocating freedom of worship and spreading the idea to members that one was not required to perform military service nor swear allegiance to the King.  


The persecutions were constant; often the Quakers held their services in the streets after having their meeting places closed. Many Friends did not escape death and others took refuge in the American colonies. The Quaker Exodus to America lasted two years, from 1656 to 1658. The Friends who remained in England, about 50,000, knew some peace when in 1689 the Law of Tolerance was passed.


Even as a boy, Fox was extraordinarily sensitive to God, having been well taught by pious parents. He remembered having experienced the “purity” of the divine presence at the age of 11. This view of the world as God intended contrasted sharply with the world of political violence and ecclesiastical hypocrisy which he experienced as a young man. George Fox worked first as a shoemaker and later as a partner with a wool and cattle dealer. His integrity brought him commercial success. But spiritual conflict raged furiously inside him until his experience of Christ brought peace.


The legacy he left and Fox’s influence in the Friendship Society were tremendous, and his beliefs were largely carried forward by this group. Perhaps its most significant achievement, in addition to its predominant influence in the initial movement, was its leadership in overcoming the twin challenges of the post-Restoration government’s prosecution and internal disputes that threatened its stability over the same period. 


George Fox’s name is often invoked by traditionalist friends who dislike modern liberal attitudes toward the Christian origins of the Society. At the same time, the Quakers and others may relate to Fox’s religious experience, and even those who disagree with many of his ideas see him as a pioneer.


George Fox died in London on January 13, 1691.






john wesley

John Wesley

(1703 - 1791)

During the 18th century, England was experiencing economic and political difficulties. There was a prevalence of lawlessness, unbelief, immorality; gambling, drunkenness and prostitution. In London, one in every six houses was a brothel. The Church was in an unhealthy state and spiritually cold. The chapels were empty and there was a sense of desperation and hopelessness. But God, in his infinite goodness, will always responds by raising up those who will refuse to conform to such a situation and begin to cry out for a visitation of the Lord. It was in such a time that God raised up some students in Oxford, amongst them being one named John Wesley.   

John Wesley was born on June 17, 1703, in Epworth, Lincolnshire, England. At the age of seventeen he began studying theology at Oxford College, he went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in 1724 and his doctorate in 1727. He was ordained as a minister of the Anglican Church in 1724. John continued in Oxford College where he was a member of the Lincoln College Council and a professor of Greek.

In 1729 Charles Wesley, John’s brother, and two other students began a small group that met for prayer, Bible study, and mutual encouragement. John soon became the leader of the group, which was called the “Holy Club”. They used a methodical system of self-examination and self-discipline, and for this reason they were called ‘Methodists’ by some. The group never grew much, ranging from 10 to 15 members, with a maximum of 25. Another young man named George Whitefield joined the group after a few years, becoming a close friend of John Wesley.

In October of 1735 John and Charles Wesley traveled to America as missionaries, but stayed there for a little more than two years. John returned to England, in February of 1738, preoccupied with his own salvation.

“I went to America to convert the Indians,” he lamented, “but, oh, who will convert me?” Soon after he met Count Zinzerdof and saw that salvation does not depend on works but on the grace of God A few months later, on May 24, John had an experience in which he was assured of his salvation by faith. A few years later, John, along with other members of the Holy Club had a powerful experience of filling with the power of the Holy Spirit , since then the Churches no longer wanted to have it him their pulpits.

On New Year’s Day, 1739, John and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield and four other members of the Holy Club held a feast of love in London. About three in the morning, while they were praying, The power fell tremendously upon us, to the point that many shouted for joy and others fell to the ground (overcome by the power of God). As soon as they recovered some reverence after being surprised by presence of His majesty, they began to sing with a loud voice: “We praise you, O God, we recognize you as Lord”. “We praise you, O God: we acknowledge you as Lord”. This event was called “Pentecostal movement”. 

This was the start of the Great revival. Within a month and a half, George Whitefield, only 22 years of age, was preaching outdoors to crowds of thousands. John Wesley was doing the same within three months.

The crowds increased daily to twenty thousand listeners. The wealthy people sat on their cars and others on their horses. Whilst others sat in the trees and wherever they could, gather to hear Whitefield preach. The people were sometimes brought to tears, as the Spirit of God fell upon them.

Whitefield continued to urge Wesley to go to Bristol and help him. In April, Wesley stood beside Whitefield in Kingswood, still wondering whether it was appropriate to speak outside the Church building. That night Whitefield preached on the Sermon on the Mount. Suddenly he realized that Jesus had also preached in the open air. Whitefield returned to London and the next day, Wesley preached outdoors to three thousand in Kingswood. He stayed in Bristol for two months, busier than ever. His 7am Sunday morning services usually had five thousand to six thousand listeners.

There, much to Wesley’s surprise, he began to watch the Holy Spirit powerfully convicting people of their sins as he preached. Well dressed, mature individuals would suddenly cry out as if in agony.

Both men and women, inside and outside the Church buildings, trembled and fell to the ground. When Wesley interrupted his sermon and prayed for them, they soon found peace and rejoiced in Christ.

With John Wesley and George Whitefield preaching to crowds at every level of society, there was a great awakening in Great Britain through the simple preaching of the Word of God on the streets and in the open air, which became the main feature of this Great move of God throughout the nation.  This struck the whole of the Country and saved England from a Revolution, and averted a great bloodshed, similar to what was happening in France at that time.

Whitefield continued to preach to thousands in England and the United States until his death at age 56 in 1770. He and John Wesley had a difference in theology, with Whitefield becoming a Calvinist and associating with the Presbyterian Church, but the two remained great friends. Knowing their doctrinal differences, someone asked Whitefield if he thought he would see John Wesley in the  heaven. “I fear not,” he replied, “he will be so close to the eternal throne, and I so far away, might not be able to see him.”

Wesley’s ministry of evangelism continued to grow, and he began to create “revival societies” in the places where he ministered. These small groups gathered for prayer, encouragement, and Bible study. At first Wesley encouraged groups to remain in the Church in England, but differences with the Church regarding their style of outdoor preaching, their message of salvation by faith, their use of lay people as preachers and leaders of societies led to the establishment of the Methodist Church.

The Great Revival of the years 1739 – 91 is often called Wesleyan Revival. Although God had used George Whitefield, the two Wesley brothers, and dozens of lay preachers to light the fire of revival. It was John Wesley who preached in more places to more people and for a greater number of years than the others. He also did more to preserve the fruit of the revival. John Wesley was clearly the leader chosen by God for this awesome spiritual awakening.

John Wesley traveled extensively in England and America, and the revival fire spread rapidly. In August 1770 there were 29,406 members, 121 preachers and 50 zones in England and 4 preachers and 100 chapels in the United States. When Wesley died on March 2.1791, there were more than 120,000 Methodists in their societies.

“I consider the whole world as my parish, wherever I am; I consider it right correct and my sacred duty, to declare to all who are willing to hear the good news of salvation.” – John Wesley.


Avivamentoja.com – Pr Paul David Cull

On Earth as it in Heaven – Stephen L Hill

O fogo do avivamento – Wesley Duewel

George Whitefield

George Whitefield

(1714 - 1770)

George Whitefield was born (the youngest of seven children), on December 16, 1714, in Gloucester, England. He was born at the Bell Inn, where his father, Thomas, was a wine merchant and innkeeper. His father died when George was two and his widowed mother, Elizabeth, struggled to support her family. By the age of fifteen, George persuaded his mother to let him leave school and work at the inn because he felt he would never make much use of his education.


At an early age, he discovered that he had a passion and talent for acting in the theatre; a passion that he continued with him in his theatrical reenactments of the Bible stories during his sermons. He was educated at The School of Crypt, Gloucester, and Pembroke College, Oxford. As Whitefield came from a poor family, he did not have the means to pay his tuition. Therefore he entered Oxford as a servant: the lowest grade of Oxford students. In exchange for free education, he was assigned to serve the senior registered students. His duties included waking them up in the morning, polishing their shoes, carrying their books, and even taking their course. He was part of the “Holy Club” at Oxford University with the Wesley brothers, John and Charles.

This, however, did not prevent him from feeling ever more distant from God until his conversion in 1735. In his own words, it was as if a “heavy burden” had been removed. He gave his first sermon in the Church where he had been baptized. His fervor was evident; some mocked, but others were impressed.  There were complaints that fifteen of their listeners “went mad” (converted)! After this he preached the message of the new birth and justification by faith to large crowds in London, but others began to refuse him the pulpit and to oppose him strongly.

On the eve of his consecration to the ministry, he spent the day in fasting and prayer. After being ordained a deacon and graduating, he left for Georgia, United States, at the invitation of John Wesley, where he helped found an orphanage. He returned to England three months later to be received into the priesthood of the Anglican Church. Realizing that many pulpits were still closed to him, he broke with tradition and began to preach in the open air. It is said that he almost never preached without crying and that he used to read the Bible on his knees. Having consecrated the life to Christ, he often prayed.

The size of the crowds that came to hear Whitfield impressed John Wesley who then began to use the same method of preaching in the open air. When he returned to missionary service in America in 1739, he began a period of activity as a Congregational minister. With Jonathan Edwards he held a series of preaching events in New England for more than a month, speaking to crowds of up to eight thousand people almost every day. This missionary activity was probably the event that triggered the revival movement known as the Great Awakening. His work also laid the foundation for the founding of approximately 50 American colleges and universities, including Princeton University and Pennsylvania University. Whitefield became the focus of the revival in America, visiting seven times, but his work in the Old World was also quite vigorous: on one occasion in Scotland he preached to 100,000 listeners and 10,000 converted.


As a firm defender of Calvinism, Whitfield broke with John Wesley’s Arminianism in 1741, but they remained friends. Because of this, he became known as the leader of the Calvinist Methodists. Whitefield continued to preach extensively in the United States and throughout Great Britain and Ireland.  He is believed to have preached more than 18,000 sermons throughout his life.

Whitefield was an astonishing preacher from the outset.  It was said that “his voice startled England like a trumpet blast.” At a time when London had a population of less than 700,000, he would receive up to 20,000 people at the same time in Moorfields and Kennington Common. For thirty-four years his preaching resounded throughout England and America. He was a firm Calvinist in his theology, but unequaled as an aggressive evangelist. Though he was lean in build, he invaded the pulpit as if he were a giant. Although he was a clergyman of the Church of England, he cooperated and had a profound impact on people and Churches of many traditions – Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists and, along with the Wesleys, inspired the movement that became known as Methodists. In his preaching ministry, he crossed the Atlantic thirteen times and became known as the ‘apostle of the British empire’. A century later, the great Baptist preacher, CH Spurgeon, wrote of Whitefield: “Often, as I read your life, I am aware of a distinct vivacity whenever I turn to it. Other men seemed only half alive; My own model, if I can have such a thing in due subordination to my Lord, is George Whitefield, but with unequal steps I must follow on his glorious path.


George Whitefield died in the United States in 1770, as he had wished: in the midst of a preaching series. At his funeral, John Wesley honored him as a great man of God. He is buried in Old South Presbyterian Church, Newburyport, Essex County, Massachusetts in the United States.





The Ulster Revival

The Ulster Revival

Northern Ireland How God Used 4 Young People to bring fire from heaven to Ireland

Like many revivals, the revival of 1859 came against a backdrop of apostasy in the Church. The island of Ireland had just suffered the great famine that occurred in the early 1850s, with many young people migrating to America to escape poverty. Throughout the 1850s, there was a cloud of depression that hovered over Ulster, just as it did over the rest of Ireland. However, no matter what the spiritual temperature on earth, the Lord always has a remnant of people who dare to believe God. This was certainly the case in Ulster during the years 1857 to 1859.


It was with a deep desire for God that a prayer meeting began in a rural school near Kells, Ireland. This was the place where the four young men, James McQuilkin, Jeremiah Meneely, Robert Carlisle and John Wallace, could meet weekly to cry out to God by themselves for an Awakening, and study the Scriptures more deeply. The Spirit impressed these verses upon their hearts: I John 2:20 and 27.


On Fridays, each of them carried some pieces of coal and his Bible into their hiding place. They based their faith on the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit, the sufficiency of the Scriptures, and the power of prayer. Thus, they pleaded for three months for a Revival, with no visible result. On the first day of 1858, however, their first victory came, and on every subsequent night there were conversions. At the end of the year, fifty people were attending the meetings, asking for just one thing: that the Spirit be poured out on them and all the surrounding country. Solid conversions in response to specific and insistent prayers served to encourage them greatly.

In 1858 the news of the Awakening in North America came to them through two faithful brethren named Dr. William Gibson and Rev. William McClure, who had just returned from North America and had witnessed firsthand the awakening that was taking place in the Church there. It was their report and the zeal with which they delivered it that aroused a deep desire among listeners that the Spirit of God would move in the same way here in their beloved Ulster. They heard how 12,000 businessmen were meeting daily in New York to pray and this set their hearts even more on fire.


It pleased God to use the simple testimony of four young men Connor in a very extraordinary way. Through them, the revival reached the capital of Ireland, Belfast. Pastors who had toiled in vain for years were suddenly surrounded by people conscious of their sins, crying out for the life-giving Word. If it were not for the loving cooperation of Sunday School teachers and other friends, the ministers would soon have become exhausted by the overload of work.


Huge, memorable meetings took place. Neighbourhoods that were notorious fighting spots witnessed the triumph of the Gospel of peace. Bitter adversaries knelt together at the Saviour’s feet. Belfast became like the city of God.


In May 1859, the revival was being talked about everywhere; in Belfast, special meetings were being held. One such meeting was at the Great George Street Presbyterian Church, which saw numbers so large that more than a thousand people could not get in and had to be preached to in the street by another minister. Both indoor and outdoor meetings saw hundreds of people repenting and seeking Christ as their Saviour. Revival had come to Belfast. The Belfast Telegraph reported in June 1859 that “in almost every street in the city there are converts. In every family some soul has found salvation, even the marginalized in the street have repented.” Sinners all over the city were being saved and entire families rejoiced to receive salvation. Belfast was tasting the forgiving love of the Saviour and the Gospel was in the air. During the first six months of 1859, the revival spread from Kells and Connor to Belfast and beyond.


What was also happening at the time was unity in the Church; all Protestant denominations worked together. It was this unity that made such an impression on the unsaved. Revival was the main theme of conversations. Everywhere in Ulster, people were talking about the things of God, who had been saved or how the revival was progressing. Nights were spent reading the Scriptures, and those who were unable to read would have the Word of God read to them.


In the hundred years following the revival of 1859, all Protestant Churches benefited from its rich legacy. It brought about a spirit of unity which, in turn, created a spiritual environment capable of transforming Ulster into the spiritual center of the British Empire. Rivers of living water were to flow from her six counties as she carried the Word of God and her Protestant faith throughout the world.


It is believed that about one hundred thousand people came to Christ in Ulster during this revival period. The true number is known only to God and his recording angel. 1641 was the year of Ulster’s horror, but 1859 was his “year of grace”, the year that Heaven came down.



Revista Impacto


Labaredas de Fogo – Rosalee Appleby

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

The Prince of Preachers (1834-1892)

There was a time when simply opting for the Gospel was to put your life on the line. In the 15th Century, Charles V, the Spanish Emperor, burned thousands of evangelicals in public squares. His son, Philip II, boasted that he had eliminated from the Low Countries of Europe about 18,000 “Protestant heretics”. To escape relentless persecution, thousands more Christians escaped to England. Among them was the family of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892), the man who would become one of the greatest preachers in the whole of the United Kingdom. Charles achieved such great results in his evangelistic ministry that, in addition to influencing generations of pastors and missionaries with his sermons and books, to this day he is called the Prince of Preachers.


Spurgeon was the son and grandson of shepherds who had fled persecution for their faith. However, it was only at the age of 15 that he truly did encountered Jesus. According to the books that tell the story of his life, Spurgeon prayed for six months that “if there was a God,” He would speak to his heart, since he felt like the greatest of sinners. Spurgeon visited various Churches but without making a decision for Christ.


One night, however, a snow storm prevented the pastor of a local Church from taking the pulpit. One of the members of the congregation – a humble cobbler – took the floor and preached in a very simple way a message based on Isaiah 45.22a: Look unto me, and ye shall be saved, all the ends of the earth. Short of  experience, the preacher repeated the verse several times before making the final appeal. Spurgeon could not restrain his tears, such was the impact caused by the Word of God.


After his conversion, Spurgeon began distributing leaflets on the streets and teaching the Bible at the Sunday School for Children in Newmarket, Cambridge. Although he was young, Spurgeon had a rare ability in handling the Word and evidenced the basic characteristics of a Gospel preacher.


His preaching was so electrifying and intense that, two years after his first sermon, Spurgeon, now aged 20, was invited to take the pulpit of the Baptist Church of Park Street Chapel in London, formerly pastored by the theologian, John Gill. The challenge, however, was immense. After all, what chance of success was there for a boy raised in the country? (Formerly, Spurgeon had pastored a small Church in Waterbeach, far from the English capital).


Located in a metropolitan area, Park Street Chapel had been one of the largest Churches in England. However, at that time, the building, with 1,200 seats, had a congregation of just over a hundred people. The last half of the 19th Century was a very difficult time for the English Churches. London had been rapidly industrialized, and people worked for many hours.  People had no time for dedicating themselves to the Lord. In spite of this, Spurgeon accepted the challenge fearlessly.

Spurgeon’s inaugural sermon in that huge Church was delivered on December 18th, 1853. There was a group of believers who had never stopped praying to God for a glorious revival: 


“At first, I preached to only a handful of listeners. But I cannot forget the insistence of their prayers. At times, it seemed that they pleaded until they saw Jesus’ presence there to bless them. So the blessing came, the house began to fill with listeners, and dozens of souls were saved”, Spurgeon recalled a few years later.


In the years that followed, the chapel, once empty, could not contain the congregation, which amounted to ten thousand people, plus the attendees of all the services during the week. The number of people was so great that the streets near the Church became impassable. Soon, the chapel’s facilities became inadequate, and so the great Metropolitan Tabernacle was built, with a capacity of 12,000 listeners. Even so, every three months, Spurgeon asked the people who had attended the services in that period to stay away so that others could be in the building to receive the Word! 


Many other congregations, a seminary, and an orphanage were established. Over time, Charles Spurgeon became a worldwide celebrity. He received invitations to preach in other cities in England, as well as in other countries such as France, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Holland. Spurgeon took the Good News not only to outdoor gatherings, but also to huge buildings eight to twelve times per week.


According to one of his biographies, the largest audience he preached to comprised exactly 23,654 people: this huge audience packed the Crystal Palace, London, on October 7, 1857, to hear him preach for more than two hours.


More than a hundred and twenty years after his death, many theologians are still trying to discover how Spurgeon achieved such success. Some attribute it to his remarkable illustrations, the ability he possessed to surprise the audience and the way he viewed people’s suffering. However, for the famous American theologian Ernest W. Toucinho, author of a biography of Spurgeon, the factors that attracted the crowds were strictly spiritual: 


“The power of the Holy Spirit, the preaching of sound doctrine, a first-hand religious experience, passion for souls, devotion to the Bible and prayer to Christ, much prayer.” 


In addition, it is worth remembering that all biographies, even the most conservative ones, recount the miraculous healings performed by Jesus in the services directed by this English preacher.


The people who listened to Spurgeon at that time made comments about him that would make any evangelical proud. On one occasion The Times published this about the English shepherd: He puts old truth in new clothes. The Daily Telegraph, however, stated that Spurgeon’s secrets were zeal, seriousness, and courage. For the Daily Chronicle, Charles Spurgeon was indifferent to popularity; a genius at mastering an audience. Pictorial World recorded Spurgeon’s love for the people.


On September 20th, 1856 Spurgeon married Susannah Thompson and they had two children, non-identical twins Thomas and Charles. 


“We always had family devotions, whether we were staying on a ranch in the mountains or in a sumptuous hotel room in the city. And the blessed presence of the Holy Spirit, which many believers say is impossible to attain, was for us the natural atmosphere. We lived and breathed Him”, Susannah once reported.


The importance of Charles Haddon Spurgeon as a preacher is equaled only by that of his printed works. Spurgeon wrote 135 books over 27 years (1865-1892) and edited a monthly magazine called The Sword and the Trowel. His various biblical commentaries are still widely read; among them are David’s Treasury (on the book of Psalms), Morning and Night (a devotional) and Matthew – The Gospel of the Kingdom. Up until his last day as a pastor, Spurgeon had baptized 14,692 people. On the occasion of his death – February 11th, 1892 – six thousand people read this text over his coffin: Look unto me, and ye shall be saved, all the ends of the earth. (Isaiah 45.22a)


Spurgeon also founded a pastors’ college to train those who were called to pastoral and evangelistic ministry.  Spurgeon’s wife also raised funds for him and distributed many homiletic books to aid preachers. After Spurgeon’s death, the college was renamed Spurgeon’s College, in honour of its founder.



Revista Graça, ano 2 nº 19

Mente Aberta / Atosdois.com.br

General William Booth

General William Booth

The Salvation Army

Smith Wigglesworth

Smith Wigglesworth

The Apostle of Faith (1859 – 1947)

Evan Roberts

Evan Roberts

(1878 - 1951)

Alexander Alfred Boddy

Alexander Alfred Boddy

(1854 - 1930)

George Jeffreys

George Jeffreys

The Welsh Evangelist (1889 - 1962)

Duncan Campbell

Duncan Campbell

The Hebrides Sland (1949)

Revival Prayer Army@2023

Scroll to Top