Charles Finney was a descendant of the New England Puritans, and was born in Warren, Connecticut. Finney was the youngest of fifteen children. The son of farmers, Finney never attended college, but his six-foot three-inch stature, piercing eyes, musical skill and leadership abilities gained him recognition in his community. He studied as an apprentice to become a lawyer, but after a dramatic conversion experience and baptism into the Holy Spirit in Adams, New York, he gave up legal practice to preach the gospel. At age 29 Finney studied to become a licensed minister in the Presbyterian Church.

Many are inclined to regard Finney as the greatest evangelist and theologian since the days of the apostles. It is estimated that during the year 1857-58 over a hundred thousand persons were led to Christ as the direct or indirect result of Finney’s labors, while five hundred thousand persons professed conversion to Christ in the great revival which began in his meetings.

Involved in the abolitionist movement, Finney frequently denounced slavery from the pulpit. Finney was president of Oberlin College for 15 years. Oberlin became active early in the movement to end slavery and was among the first American colleges to co-educate blacks and women with white men.


For more on the life and teachings of Charles Finney check out Power, Passion, and Prayer.

You can also download a free collection of Charles Finney’s sermons on Gospel Themes for The Bible Study App HERE.