Our Georgia History

George Whitefield
January 14, 1739 George Whitefield ordained a minister in the Church of England
  George Whitefield
October 30, 1739 George Whitefield arrives in Philadelphia, PA
  George Whitefield
March 25, 1740 George Whitefield "laid the foundation" for Bethesda Orphanage
  George Whitefield
March 14, 1741 George Whitefield leaves for England
  George Whitefield
January 28, 1770 George Whitefield delivers a sermon to the Royal Governor, his council and the General Assembly in Savannah, Georgia
  City of Savannah, Georgia
  George Whitefield
September 30, 1770 George Whitefield dies, Newburyport, MA
  George Whitefield
December 30, 1851 Whitfield County created
  George Whitefield
  Creation of Georgia Counties
  Whitfield County, Georgia

The founder of Bethesda Orphanage, George Whitefield was himself impoverished as a child, having lost his father at the age of two. In an incredible feat, Whitefield graduated Oxford University, where he met two men who would significantly influence him in later life: John and Charles Wesley.

Unlike many of his brethren in the Church of England, Whitefield established himself with a nearly evangelical quality in his sermons. John Wesley, who tried to work with Creek Indians, and Charles, who was Oglethorpe's first secretary, urged him to come to Georgia, where his unique style, they felt, would be attractive to Georgians on the frontier of America. Not only was Whitefield well received by Georgians, he was well received by every city he visited, drawing crowds greater than 10,000 on more than one occasion.

Whitefield did lay the first brick for the foundation of Bethesda, near Savannah, on this trip, and it was his vision (and the money he raised) that created the home, but it was James Habersham who tended to the day-to-day business of Bethesda. Whitefield returned to England to continue his preaching, occasionally returning to the colonies.

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