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Finney, Charles Grandison (29 August 1792–16 August 1875), evangelist and president of Oberlin College, was born in Warren, Connecticut, the son of Sylvester Finney and Rebecca Rice, farmers. The family moved to the town of Kirkland, Oneida County, New York, when he was two and in 1808 to Henderson, Jefferson County, near Lake Ontario. Finney attended common school and perhaps Hamilton-Oneida Academy in Clinton, and he taught school as an older teen in Henderson. At age twenty he enrolled at Warren Academy in Connecticut, decided against going on to Yale, and taught in New Jersey from 1814 to 1818, when he returned to Jefferson County to apprentice at law. Practicing in an Adams, New York, law firm and directing the local Presbyterian church choir, he began to study the Bible. Having grown up during the Second Great Awakening, Finney was aware of the strengths and weaknesses of every Protestant denomination’s evangelistic style. During an 1821 revival, at age twenty-nine, he experienced a religious crisis. He promised God, as he recalled in his ...

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Osborn, Sarah Haggar Wheaten (22 February 1714–02 August 1796), revival leader and educator, was born in London, England, the daughter of Benjamin Haggar, a brazier, and Susanna Guyse. She came to New England in 1722 and by 1729 was settled in Newport, Rhode Island, where she lived for the rest of her life. In 1731, before she was eighteen, Sarah went against her parents’ wishes and married Samuel Wheaten, a sailor, who died at sea two years later. Left with an infant son to support, Sarah took over the direction of a small school and, despite chronic ill health, ran a school almost continuously until she reached her sixties....

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Barton W. Stone. Clockwise from far right: Stone, Alexander Campbell, Walter Scott, and Thomas Campbell. Engraving by John Chester Buttre, from Pioneers in the Great Religious Reformation of the Nineteenth Century, 1885. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (Card no. 98508288).

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Stone, Barton Warren (24 December 1772–09 November 1844), evangelist, educator, and speculative theologian, was born near Port Tobacco, Maryland, the son of John Stone and Mary Warren, farmers. Reared in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, he moved in 1790 to North Carolina to study law at Guilford Academy. His career plans changed when he was converted to an aggressive form of evangelical Protestantism under the influence of ...