Brief Evangelical Timeline

This post is not meant to be a comprehensive timeline of evangelicalism, but is meant to give a snapshot of the movement.


evangelical timeline

  1. Martin Luther on October 31, 1517 post the 95 these on the door of the church of Wittenburg which sparked the Protestant Reformation.
  2. John Calvin published the Institutes of the Christian Religion in 1536 in Geneva, and is viewed as the Theological grandfather of the Great Awakening.
  3. Jacobus Arminius published the Remonstrantiæ in 1610 in Holland which disputed some tenants of reformed theology.  His views are held by many within the founders of evangelicalism, including John Wesley.
  4. John Williams started the first baptist church in America, but came to America on February 5, 1631.  He declined a pastorship with his first church because they were still attached to the Church of England.
  5. Isaac Backus is considered the father of Baptist ecclesiology.  He was a separatist and preached his first sermon on September 28, 1746.  He believed churches should be separate from the state.
  6. Jonathan Edwards started the Great Awakening in the 1730’s in the American colonies with his sermon Sinners in the hands of an angry God. 
  7. John Wesley was greatly influenced by the Moravians and had a conversion experience on May 24, 1738 in London.  One of the founders of the Methodist movement.
  8. Charles Wesley preached to tens of thousands between June 24 and July 8, 1738 in London.  One of the most prolific hymn writers, and write many hymns during and after the Great Awakening.
  9. George Whitfield another prominent preacher in the Great Awakening.  Preached to 8,000 people in Philadelphia in 1739.
  10. John Gill was the first Baptist to write a systematic theology.  Published Body of Divinity in London in 1769, and his hyper Calvinist views would greatly influence evangelical history.
  11. Robert Hall, Sr. engaged Andrew Fuller about preaching the gospel more freely, and published Help to Zion’s Travellers in 1781 in London.
  12. Andrew Fuller was greatly influenced by the works of Jonathan Edwards.  His willingness to preach the gospel to everyone opened the doors of what was a strict Calvinist system.  This was prompted by his publication of Treatise on the Will that was published in 1785 in London.
  13. Daniel Taylor in London, in 1785 he challenged Andrew Fuller’s conclusions in Observations on the Rev. Andrew Fuller’s Late Pamphlet Entitled the GWA.  This happened in London, and he said that Fuller had embraced a free will system, and this opened the door to more evangelism.
  14. Benjamin Randall founded the Free-Will Baptist movement in 1780 in New Hampshire.
  15. Thomas Coke founder of the Methodist church in America.  Founded in 1784 at the Christmas conference in Baltimore.
  16. Francis Asbury moved to Philadelphia from England in 1771 to assist Methodist missions.  The Methodist church would rapidly grow thanks to his efforts.
  17. James O’Kelley would split from the Methodist church to found the Republican Methodist church.  This occurred on December 25, 1793 in Manakintown, Virginia.
  18. Timothy Dwight promoted renewal at Yale in New Haven, CT on September 9, 1797.  It helped start the Second Great Awakening.
  19. Charles Finney changed the landscape of evangelicalism and invented the concept of an altar call at a New York city chapel in February 1808. A great preacher in the landscape of the second Great Awakening.
  20. Barton Stone organized the revival in Cane Ridge, PA in August of 1801. It Had preaching from Presbyterians, Baptists, and Methodists.
  21. Margaret Newton Van Cott was first woman to be licensed to preach in Methodist Episcopal Church. Licensed in March 6, 1869 in Ellenville, NY.
  22. William Carey is considered the father of modern missions. He wrote An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens which led to the founding of the Baptist Missionary Society on October 2, 1792.
  23. Samuel J. Mills in Williamstown, MA in June 1808 found the first missionary society in America, the Society of the Brethren.
  24. Mary Lyon founded Mount Holyoke Female Seminary November 8, 1837 in South Hadely, MA. It was the first female seminary.
  25. Adoniram Judson was sent as a missionary to Burma on July 13, 1813. He translated the scriptures into the language of the people, and Malaysia now has the 3rd largest population of Baptists in the world.
  26. Lottie Moon was the first female foreign missionary. She was assigned to China in August of 1873.
  27. John Darby is considered the father of dispensationalism. Started teaching theories on premillennialism and the rapture in October of 1827 in Dublin
  28. George Williams founded the YMCA in London on June 6, 1844. The organization would be where many great evangelists were converted.
  29. Thomas Sullivan brings the first U.S. branch of the YMCA to Boston on December 29, 1851.
  30. Hudson Taylor founds the China Inland Mission on June 27, 1865.
  31. B.B. Warfield was a proponent of biblical inerrancy and challenged the growing liberalism in the 19th century with an article published in April, 1881 titled “Inspiration of the Bible.”
  32. A.A. Hodge was chair of systematic theology at Princeton in 1881, and fought against liberalism in the 19th century.
  33. D.L. Moody founded the Chicago Evangelization society January 22, 1886 which is now Moody Bible Institute. Previously served as President of the YMCA.
  34. Billy Sunday was a former professional baseball player turned evangelist. Converted to Christianity in August of 1886 in Chicago.  Would later push for prohibition.
  35. C.I. Schofield published the Schofield Reference Bible with Oxford University Press in 1909 in England. It would have a lasting impact on dispensationalism and fundamentalism.
  36. William J. Seymour held a revival meeting in Los Angeles on April 9, 1906 which became known as the Azusa street revival, and it lasted until 1915.
  37. Lyman Stewart was an Oil Tycoon and fundamentalist. He founded what would later become Biola University, and funded the publication of The Fundamentals in 1909.
  38. T.C. Hornton co-founded what would become Biola University on Februaary 25, 1908 in Los Angeles, CA. It would be a staging ground of sorts for fundamentalism.
  39. A.C. Dixon would become pastor of D.L. Moody’s church in Chicago in 1906. Advocate of fundamentalist Christianity and co-editor of The Fundamentals.
  40. R.A. Torrey served as dean of what would become Biola University in Los Angeles from 1912 to 1924. Proponent of fundamentalism and so-editor of The Fundamentals.
  41. Eudoris N. Bell was voted in as the first chairmen of the denomination known as the Assemblies of God on April 12, 1914 in Hot Springs, Arkansas. One of the many denominations that had origins in the Azusa street revival.
  42. William Riley founded the World Christian Fundamentals Association in 1919 in Minneapolis, MN
  43. Henry Fosdick gave a sermon titles “Shall the Fundamentalists Win” on May 21, 1922 in New York City. This was the start of the battle between fundamentalist and liberals within the Presbyterian Church.
  44. Clarence Macartney gave a sermon titled “Shall Unbelief Win?” in 1923 in Philadelphia in response to Fosdick. He was a proponent of fundamentalism in the controversy with the modernists.
  45. J. Emerson Machen founded the Orthodox Presbyterian Church on June 11, 1936 in response to the liberalism that was in the Presbyterian Church in the USA.
  46. William Jennings Bryan represented fundamentalists in the Scopes monkey trial in May 1925 in Tennessee.
  47. Evangelist Billy Graham held his first crusade September 13-21 1947 in Grand Rapids, MI. His crusades changed the landscape of evangelicalism in the 20th century.
  48. Charles Fuller opened Fuller Theological Seminary in September 1947 in Pasadena, CA. He also had a weekly radio show that is said to have 20 million listeners.
  49. Jerry Falwell founded Lynchburg Baptist College in 1971 in Lynchburg, VA. It is now known as Liberty University and is the largest Christian university in the world.  Falwell also organized the Moral Majority in 1979, and they would have an influence on American politics.
  50. John Stott led a committee at the International Congress on World Evangelization on July 16-24 1974 in Lausanne, Switzerland. The Lausanne act has been translated into over 20 languages, and has had a major impact on global evangelicanism.

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