This list of significant evangelistic events in the history of the Church has been prepared in view of the World Congress on Evangelism, whichCHRISTIANITY TODAYwill sponsor in Berlin as a tenth-anniversary project in 1966. Space limits forced difficult choices upon the specialists who aided in compiling the list of events, and readers no doubt will wish to add to or delete from the compilation. Nearly all missionary agencies are excluded for reasons of space.—ED.


A. Prior to the Exodus

Enoch: spokesman for God

Noah: preacher of righteousness

Abraham: God’s messenger to the surrounding tribes

Joseph: God’s representative to the Egyptians

B. From Moses to Jesus Christ: Old Testament Revivals

Moses and the people of Israel at Sinai

Joshua in the closing days of his life

Period of the Judges: recurring apostasy, repentance, and revival

Samuel: Israel revived and the Philistines defeated

Elijah: revival victory over the priests of Baal

Jonah: the evangelization of Nineveh

Asa and the great revival (2 Chron. 14–16)

Hezekiah and the revival in Judah

Josiah: a time of reformation in Judah

The post-captivity revival


The Lord Jesus Christ: his evangelistic ministry

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ

The Great Commission after the Resurrection


Pentecost (A.D. 30): the descent of the Holy Spirit and Peter’s first evangelistic sermon (3,000 converts)

Stoning of Stephen

The Apostle Paul: his worldwide missionary ministry; his apostolate to the Gentiles

Origen (186–253): teacher-scholar who preached every day for thirty years and who never divorced gospel preaching from scholarship

Gregory Thaumaturgus (213–c. 270): evangelist in Pontus of whom it was said that there were only seventeen Christians when he came and only seventeen pagans when he died

Gregory the Illuminator (c. 240–332): the conversion of Armenia through the conversion of the king, Tradt (Tiridates), c. 250

Ulfilas (311–388): evangelist to the Goths; inventor of an alphabet and translator of the Bible into the Gothic tongue

St. John Chrysostom (347–407): “silver-tongued” preacher who wrote more sermons than any other man before Spurgeon

Ambrose of Milan (c. 339–397): last of the early great preachers; contemporary of Chrysostom

Martin, Bishop of Tours (320?–397?): evangelist to Gaul

Augustine of Hippo (354–430): his conversion and extensive ministry

Patrick (389?–461?): a native of Roman Britain who was the “Apostle of the Irish”

Augustine of Canterbury (505?–605): evangelist to the people of Britain

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Columba (c. 521–597): evangelist to the Scots

Columbanus (550–615): evangelist to the Burgundians and the Swabians (Swiss)

Willibrord (658–739): “Apostle of Frisia”—Holland and Denmark

Boniface (Wynfrith) (680–754): the “Apostle of Germany”

Anskar (801–865): the “Apostle of the North”—Denmark and Sweden

Cyril (826–869) and Methodius (c. 815–885): the “Apostles of the Slavs”—Bulgaria, Moravia, and Bohemia


Otto, Bishop of Bamberg (1062/3–1139): the “Apostle to the Pomeranians”

Peter de Bruys (died c. 1140): founder of the Petrobrusians

Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153): mystic who preached like an existentialist; probably the only Crusader who could be considered evangelistic

Peter Waldo (?–1217): evangelistic founder of the Waldensians; his ministry and that of others like him precipitated the Fourth Lateran Council and the Inquisition

Anthony of Padua (1195–1231): Franciscan who was first to use a sermon outline and who often preached to 20,000 people

Cathari (meaning “pure”) (11 th–13th centuries): radical evangelistic sect

Brethren of the Free Spirit (13th century): mystical sects claiming freedom from ecclesiastical authority Raymond Lull (1235–1315): evangelist to North Africa and the Muslims

John de Montecorvino (?–1328/9): evangelist to China who built a church and orphanage and translated the New Testament and Psalms into Chinese

John Wycliffe (c. 1329–1384): “The Morning Star of the Reformation,” translator of the Bible into the English vernacular, and founder of the Lollard Revival

John Huss (c. 1369–1415): Bohemian evangelistic reformer; precursor of the Reformation

Savonarola (1452–1498): preacher and reformer in Florence


The Reformation (from 1517): Luther, Farel, Calvin, Knox, Zwingli, and others

Balthasar Hübmaier (1485?–1528): Anabaptist evangelist in Moravia

Menno Simons (1496–1561): founder of the Mennonites

Martyrdom of Latimer (c. 1485–1555) and of Ridley (c. 1500–1555) under “Bloody” Mary

Martyrdom of Thomas Cranmer (1489–1556)

Rise of Puritanism in England (from 1596)

Scottish revival at the General Assembly of 1596 under the preaching of Bruce of Edinburgh

Thomas Mayhew (1593–1682): evangelizer of the Indians of New England

John Eliot (1604–1690): evangelist to the American Indians

Jeremy Taylor (1613–1667): Anglican writer and revivalist

Roger Williams (1606–1690): founder of Rhode Island and establisher of religious liberty in America

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Richard Baxter (1615–1691): Puritan writer and revivalist

Irish revival of 1628 ff. under Blair and Livingstone

The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New England founded in 1649

Spener (1635–1705) and Francke (1663–1727): founders of Pietism; rise of the missionary center at the University at Halle

The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge founded in 1698

Hans Egede (1686–1758): evangelist to Greenland

Count von Zinzendorf (1700–1760): Moravian leader, evangelist, and missionary enthusiast

The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts founded in 1701

William Tennent and the “Log College” evangelists Revivals in New Jersey under Frelinghuysen in the 1720s

Great Awakening in New England under Jonathan Edwards, 1734/35

Revival ministry of George Whitefield in England and America

Evangelical Revival in England, under John and Charles Wesley, from 1738

David Brainerd (1717–1747): evangelist to the American Indians

Great Awakening in Virginia, 1740–1790

Scottish revivals of 1742 at Cambusland, Kilsyth, Campsie, and Calder

Vosges Mountains revival beginning in 1765 under John Frederic Oberlin (1740–1826)

Francis Asbury (1745–1816): evangelist and first Methodist bishop in America

Revival at Lundie, Scotland, 1771, under Whitefield

Second Awakening in New England in the 1790s

William Carey (1761–1834): evangelist to India; father of modern missions

London Missionary Society founded in 1795

Scottish Missionary Society founded in 1796

Beginning of the Norwegian revival under Hans Nielsen Hauge in 1796

Netherlands Missionary Society founded in 1797

Beginning of the great revival in the U.S. West, 1797

Church Missionary Society and Religious Tract Society founded in 1799

Scottish revival from 1800: Holdane Brothers, evangelists

Awakening of 1800 in Canada


Yale and Hampden Sydney College revivals under Timothy Dwight and John Blair Smith

James McGready: Log College revivalist, father of the Second Awakening in the West, beginning in 1796; often preached to 20,000 people

British and Foreign Bible Society founded in 1805

Primitive Methodist Awakening began 1807 in England

Henry Martyn (1781–1812): evangelist to India and Arabia, translator of the Bible into other tongues

Robert Morrison (1782–1834): evangelist to China, translator of the Bible

Haystack Prayer Meeting in New England, 1810; beginning of American foreign missions

American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions established in 1810

Methodist camp meetings: 200,000 people gathered by 1816

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Five decades of revival in the United States, 1792–1842

Conversion and baptism of Pomare II (1819) and the evangelization of all Tahiti

Adoniram Judson (1788–1850): evangelist and translator of the Bible; pioneer missionary to Burma

Revival all over Germany from 1815

American Bible Society founded in 1816

Le Reveil began in Geneva in 1816 under Robert Holdane, spread to France and Holland

Reginald Heber’s evangelistic ministry to India (Calcutta), 1822–1826

American Sunday School Union founded in 1824

American Tract Society founded in 1825

Johannes Gossner (1773–1858); German pastor, missionary leader, and founder of the Gossner Missionary Society (1842); father of faith missions

Educational evangelism of Alexander Duff in India, 1829–1863

Awakening in Sweden in 1837 under George Scott and Carl Rosenius

Awakening in Hawaii in 1837 under Titus Coan

Scottish revivals of 1838/39 under W. C. Burns

Martyrdom of John Williams in New Hebrides, 1839

David Livingstone (1813–1873): evangelist and explorer who opened Africa to the Gospel

Joseph Hardy Neesima (1843–1890): founder of Doshisha College and Theological School in Japan

Founding of the YMCA in 1844 by George Williams

Fijian revival beginning in 1845

Awakening among Germans in Russia, 1845; Stundist Movement began

English Methodist evangelism beginning in 1846 under James Caughey

John Geddie (1815–1872): evangelist to the South Seas island of Aneityum of whom it was said: “When he landed in 1848 there were no Christians here; when he left in 1872 there were no heathen”

Founding of the YWCA in Germany and Great Britain in 1854

John L. Nevius: evangelist to the Far East, 1854–1893; father of the Nevius method of establishing self-supporting, self-governing, self-propagating churches Charles G. Finney (1792–1875): American evangelist, 1824–1875

New York City revival of 1857/58 and the Fulton Street prayer meeting

The “Annus Mirabilis” in Ulster: 100,000 converts in a spontaneous movement

Revival in Scotland, 1859/60

Revival in Wales, 1859

Extended revival and evangelism in England, 1860–1865

Dwight Lyman Moody (1837–1899): evangelist to Britain and America

John G. Paton (1824–1907): evangelist to New Hebrides; at Aniwa (Oceania) from 1866

Conversion of King Khama of Bechuanaland, 1860; transformation of his country

Second “opening of China” to the Gospel following the Treaty of Tientsin

Work of the Salvation Army (William Booth, founder) from 1864

J. Hudson Taylor (1832–1905): faith mission leader; founder of the China Inland Mission; evangelist in China 1853–1905

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Evangelization of Madagascar following the baptism of Queen Rànavàlona II in 1868

Martyrdom of Bishop Patteson (1827–1871) in Melanesia

British awakenings under Moody and Sankey in 1873/74

Kumamoto Band established in Japan in 1876

Evangelization of the Barotse in Africa from 1877 under Francois Coillard

Samuel Porter Jones, the D. L. Moody of the South, 1881–1906

Student Volunteer Movement founded in 1886

R. A. Torrey (1856–1928): successor to Moody; evangelist and author of soul-winning literature

John R. Mott (1865–1955): lay evangelist and world leader, YMCA, Student Volunteer Movement, from 1890

Samuel Zwemer (1867–1952): evangelist to the Muslims

Martyrdom of 189 Protestant missionaries in China in the Boxer Rebellion, 1900

Colonel Yamamuro, the “General Booth” of Japan: evangelistic ministry from 1900

Masahisa Uemura (Kimura): the twentieth-century Moody of Japan, from 1900

J. Wilbur Chapman (1859–1918): evangelist and developer of the simultaneous revival campaign

Billy Sunday (1862–1935): evangelistic ministry in America from 1900; developed basic revival organization

Martyrdom of James Chalmers (1841–1901) in New Guinea

Welsh revival under Evan Roberts and Seth Joshua

Madagascar revivals in 1905, 1927, 1946

Awakenings in Scandinavia, 1905

Revivals throughout India from 1905

Korean revival of 1907

Awakening in Chile in 1909, becoming Pentecostal and numbering 600,000

Manchurian revival of 1908 under Jonathan Goforth

Ecumenical Missionary Conference at Edinburgh, 1910

A. Earl Kernahan: emphasis on visitation evangelism in denominations

Pentecostal movement, front 1910

Awakening in Ireland from 1921 under W. P. Nicholson

Beginning of radio evangelism; e.g., “The Lutheran Hour” and “The Old-Fashioned Revival Hour”

Great Awakening in China from 1927: John Sung, Andrew GiH, and Bethel Bands

East African revival began in 1932

Summer Institute of Linguistics beginning in 1934 (L. L. Legters and W. Cameron Townsend); founding of Wycliffe Bible Translators in 1942

Youth for Christ Movement founded in 1942

Student revivals in the United States 1949–1951

Billy Graham: evangelist and pioneering television crusader; worldwide evangelistic ministry beginning in 1949

Awakening in Brazil in 1952

Evangelism-in-depth in Latin America

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