Whitefield was an astounding preacher from the beginning, and within a year it was said that “his voice startled England like a trumpet blast.” At a time when London had a population of less than 700,000, he could hold spellbound 20,000 people at a time at Moorfields and Kennington Common. For thirty-four years his preaching resounded throughout England and America. He was a firm Calvinist in his theology, yet unrivaled as an aggressive evangelist. Though he was slender in build, he stormed in the pulpit as if he were a giant. Though a clergyman of the Church of England, he cooperated with and had a profound impact on people and churches of many traditions” Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, and along with the Wesley’s, inspired the movement that became known as the Methodists. In his preaching ministry he crossed the Atlantic thirteen times and became know as the ‘apostle of the British empire.’ A century later, the great Baptist preacher, C. H. Spurgeon wrote of Whitefield, “Often as I have read his life, I am conscious of distinct quickening whenever I turn to it. He lived. Other men seemed to be only half-alive; but Whitefield was all life, fire, wing, force. My own model, if I may have such a thing in due subordination to my Lord, is George Whitefield; but with unequal footsteps must I follow in his glorious track.”
Whitefield preached more than 18,000 sermons in his lifetime, an average of 500 a year, or ten a week. Many of them were given over and over again. Fewer than 90 of them have survived in any form.