Old South Presbyterian Church, Newburyport, Massachusetts
Old South Presbyterian Church, Newburyport, Massachusetts

Why Whitefield?

Why celebrate the legacy of a Calvinist clergyman who lived 250 years ago?

Few in the general public understand how profoundly George Whitefield influenced the humanitarian ideals of the colonies in the time leading up to the American Revolution. How he united people and broke down barriers of class, race, and gender, preaching that all people are created equal under God.

And few Christians understand the role Whitefield played in laying a spiritual foundation in the colonies, preaching that salvation comes by grace and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Powerfully and passionately, he called people to be “born again.” And they responded... with tremendous enthusiasm.

Our mission is to bring Whitefield’s legacy and bold message of unity and friendship into focus in 2020, the 250th anniversary of his death, at a time when there is so much division in the world and in our country. His message may be just what we desperately need to hear.



Sean McGever (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is area director for Paradise Valley Arizona Young Life and adjunct faculty at Grand Canyon University. He trains Young Life staff and volunteers internationally. He is the author of Born Again: The Evangelical Theology of Conversion in John Wesley and George Whitefield (Studies in Historical and Systematic Theology), Lexham Press, 2020.


Dr. Matthew Rowley is from Cochrane, Alberta, Canada. He received a Bachelor of Theology from Living Faith Bible College, an MDiv from Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary, and a PhD in Historical Theology from McMaster Divinity College. In addition to pastoring at Cremona Country Fellowship, Dr. Rowley is the President of Training Leaders International Canada, a teaching mission organization. George Whitefield has been a special hero to him throughout his ministry career as a model preacher and missionary. He and his wife Joanna live in Cochrane with their six children.


Joel Houston is Associate Professor of Theology at Briercrest College and Seminary in Saskatchewan, Canada, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Joel's research interests include 18th century British Evangelicalism, and the life and theology of George Whitefield in particular.


Rhys S. Bezzant is Senior Lecturer in Church History at Ridley College in Melbourne, Australia. Ordained as an Anglican minister, he has worked in university and parish settings, and is Director of the Jonathan Edwards Center Australia and Visiting Fellow at the Yale Divinity School. He has publishedJonathan Edwards and the Church (OUP, 2014), Edwards the Mentor (OUP 2019), has translated Martin Luther: A Late Medieval Life (Baker, 2017), and written on the identity of George Whitefield. He also serves as Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne.

The Great Awakening Meets A Just Awakening: Whitefield's 250th Commemorative Anniversary / August 3 — October 4, 2020, Online

The Great Awakening Meets A Just Awakening: Whitefield's 250th Commemorative Anniversary / August 3 — October 4, 2020, Online