“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” —Zechariah 4:10
The Death of William Tennent, May 6, 1746
omeone taught Augustine of Hippo, someone taught John Calvin, someone taught Jonathan Edwards. Sure, they were gifted men, called by God to minister to people and gain a standing in the Church, that the Lord used in unprecedented ways to reach millions of people for Christ, in their own day and today. So it is with all those whom God is pleased to guide in expanding His Kingdom. However, we often do not remember, or perhaps never knew, who the teachers were that trained or influenced the men who greatly exceeded their mentors in knowledge, ability, and success. One such instructor was William Tennent, Sr., an 18th century Scots-Irish immigrant to America; a man who stood in a twenty by twenty foot log cabin and taught and trained young men for Gospel ministry—the men who brought about, humanly speaking, the great spiritual awakening that swept through the American colonies from the 1730s to the 1750s, especially in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and unknown corners of the frontier.