Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The Sylvester Finneys & Charles Grandison Finney & another NYS Marker

Today many people have little knowledge of probably one of the most important evangelists of the 1800’s, Charles Grandison Finney. 

Finney was born in Conneticut, but moved with his mother and father to western New York in 1792. Finney lived a part of his youth in the Oneida County, and stayed during his earliest years in Eaton, New York with his aunt and uncle the Cyrus Finney’s. A marker for this site is on Route 26.

Finney is also remembered in Hammond's History of Madison County because of his prank of putting the school master's dog in the oven where he baked bread on the side. The dog was rescued of course, and his school mates told on him. This school was located in today's Eaton Cemtery where the flag post and bench new. We are lucky enough to have an early school book handwritten by the schoolmaster on display in the Eaton Museum.  Finney remained friends with some his schoolmates that included Ellis Morse.  

Charles was a bright boy who did not go to college but taught himself much, and studied law under an attorney in Adams, New York.. It is there he claimed to have had a mystical experience while walking, an experience in which he met Jesus face to face. Soon after this “spiritual awakening” he began preaching, eventually being ordained in a Presbyterian minister in 1824.
Finney was so overwhelmingly good on the pulpit that his following grew and his conversions to the faith multiplied in leaps and bounds. Stories of his revivals brought request for his special form of preaching and conversion using what he termed “anxious seats”. It is estimated that he converted over 100,000 people to Christ in the mid 1850’s.
Finney had a good sense of humor and dressed in gray, a different look from the all black ministers of the day, and is remembered for when he came to the Syracuse area at the request of ministers who heard him preach. Unable to accommodate them at the time of their request, he returned the following year and is credited with helping to reopen the churches to the faithful.
Below a video on the Skaneateles Turnpike site at the end of it where it linked with the 
Third Great Wester Turnpike (the Cherry Valley) in Monticello.

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