Today’s American Minute

By Bill Federer

Seven times he came to America, preaching across the colonies, sometimes to crowds of over 30,000 people. This Great Awakening spread like fire. Benjamin Franklin not only attended his meetings and printed his sermons, but built an auditorium for him to speak in, afterwards donating it as the first building of the University of Pennsylvania. Who was he? George Whitefield, who died this day, Sept. 30, 1770. To Whitefield, Franklin wrote: “I sometimes wish that you and I were jointly employed by the Crown to settle a colony on the Ohio. … Might it not greatly facilitate the introduction of pure religion among the heathen, if we could … show them a better sample of Christians than they commonly see in our Indian traders?”