Today in Church History

March 13

Charles G. Finney

On March 13, 1836, Charles G. Finney resigned as pastor of the Second Free Presbyterian Church in New York City, and announced his intention to demit the ministry of the Presbyterian Church and to transfer his ordination to the Congregational Church.

When asked at his licensure exam in 1823 whether he subscribed to the Westminster Confession of Faith, Finney responded, "I had not examined it - This made no part of my study." During his tenure as a Presbyterian minister he rarely attended Presbytery meetings and his opposition to Presbyterian theology and polity grew. Eventually he became the favorite target of Old School opponents of the Second Great Awakening. He left the church a year before the Old School-New School division, disdainfully suggesting that "no doubt there is a jubilee in hell every year about the time of meeting of the General Assembly."

- John Muether

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