Charles Finney

"What a Revival of Religion Is"

Early Life of Charles Finney

Charles Finney was born in Warren, Connecticut in 1792, he was the youngest of fifteen children. Son of 2 farmers who moved to the upstate frontier of jefferson County, New York after the American Revolutionary War, Finney never went to college. His leadership abilities, musical skill and piercing eyes brought him recognition in his community. He and his family attended the baptists and methodists were known for their fervor through the early nineteenth century. He "read the law", studying as an apprentice to become a lawyer, but after a dramatic event he gave up legal practice to preach gospel

His Graduation

In 1821, at the age of 29 Finney started his studies under George Washington Gale, to become a licensed minister in the Presbyterian Church. He had many mistrust about the fundamental beliefs taught in that denomination. He moved to New York City in 1832, where he was minister of the Chatham Street Chapel and introduced some of the revivalist fervor of upstate to his urban congregations.He later founded and preached at the Broadway Tabernacle.

His Work

In 1838 he moved in Ohio and there he became a professor at Oberlin College. After more than 10 years he got selected as second president, in office from 1851-1866. Oberlin was the first American college to accept women and blacks as students, as well as white men. For the early years teachers and students were active in the abolitionist movement. Participated together with the people of the country in efforts to help biracial runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad, as well as to resist the Fugitive Slave Law. Many slaves fled Ohio across the Ohio River from Kentucky, making the state a critical area for their passage to freedom.

Famous Quotes

The following are three of many quotes claimed by Charles Finney. As we may notice, they are all based on Christianity, which influenced his life and works.


“A state of mind that sees God in everything is evidence of growth in grace and a thankful heart.”


"Unless I had the spirit of prayer, I could do nothing."


"Christian, lift up your head, and proclaim yourself free. The God of truth has declared that you are not, and shall not be a slave to sin."