About the Author
I had always wanted to visit the areas where Finney and Nash worked together, ever since reading Finney's autobiography as a new Christian. But as a Canadian I can remember thinking that those places seemed far away, somewhere in the States. Then, I was called to help plant a new church in Lowville, in northern New York. I left my native land to do this and later was surprised to learn that I had moved right into the midst of the very places Finney mentioned in memoirs. I wanted see all of the buildings and landmarks that related to this fascinating piece of church history, but when I asked around nobody seemed to know much about Finney. As I drove around this area and was surprised to find that many of the places where one the greatest revivals ever held on American soil had taken place, are just as hard and cold today as they were when Finney first found them. The villages were small and rough, with no apparent spiritual life. The local churches they contained invoked pity and sadness within me, rather than inspiration. For some reason, I expected to find these places flourishing with a deeper spirituality than average because Finney had been there. No doubt I would be just as disappointed if I went to Azusa Street today looking for a fresh flow of the Holy Spirit. This discovery upset one of the many misconceptions I held about the patterns and purposes of revival, which we will explore in this book.
I was given a year-long sabbatical as a gift from our church, every seventh year, and it was one of these seventh years that I decided to use this time to do some further research on my own about what happened to the churches Finney preached in. I found the oldest county maps available to help locate many of the homes and churches mentioned by Finney. I searched old deeds to confirm the authenticity of certain buildings. Beyond this, I relied on local history books, library files, and local historical societies, which proved to be the best resources for this kind of study. Also, the latest edition of Finney’s memoirs, a significant work put out in 1989 by Rosell and Dupuis, contained invaluable clues within the copious footnotes, which helped to guide me.
After my sabbatical came to an end, I continued to do research for the next three years, going from their place of their birth to where they were buried and most points of interest in between. In the process I got to know them both about as much as someone could 175 years later. I also learned alto about revivals and reforms and what happened in the lives of those whom God had chosen to use in a remarkable way.
My desire and goal is to share what I have learned with you in the hope that you too would be inspired by what has inspired me from the lives of Finney and Nash.
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