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Preachers With Power: Four Stalwarts of the South (Kelly)

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Douglas Kelly here reintroduces one of the richest periods of evangelical history, spanning the years 1791-1902, and captures its ethos in the lives of four of its most influential men:

  • Daniel Baker, who spent his life as a missionary and itinerant evangelist though sought by a church and two U.S. Presidents for Washington
  • James Henley Thornwell, equally able as a pastor and professor but best remembered as a preacher ‘wrapt in wonder at the love, humiliation and condescension of the Trinity'
  • Benjamin M. Palmer, who, in the words of a Jewish rabbi, ‘got the heart as well as the ear of New Orleans'
  • John L. Girardeau, ‘the Spurgeon of America’, who was so remarkably used among the black people of South Carolina.

In addition to these moving lives, Dr. Kelly gives us many illuminating side-lights on Christians of the South, such as those of the Midway Church, Georgia, for whom ‘religion was a matter of their brightest hopes, their warmest feelings, their deepest convictions’. The author is not only well-qualified to write on ‘the old South’ but, more important, he inspires a fresh vision of the great lessons embodied in his subjects. He convinces us of the truth of the words of R.L. Dabney: ‘The real desideratum is not new methods, but fidelity to the old, a real revival in the hearts of ministers and Christians themselves, a faith that “feels the power of the world to come”, a solemn and deep love for souls. What we need most is repentance, and not innovation.’

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Table of Contents:

The Old South: An Introduction

Part One: Daniel baker – Evangelism with Power

1. From Rural Georgia to Hampden-Sydney and Princeton

2. First Pastorates

3. A Life of Travel

4. Revival and Evangelism

5. The Joyful Preacher

Part Two: James Henley Thornwell – Logic on Fire

6. The Honing of an Intellect for Service to Church, State and Education

7. Majestic Preaching: Theology and Passion

Part Three: Benjamin Morgan Palmer – Capturing the Heart of New Orleans 

8. Palmer’s Formative Years in South Carolina

9. How Eloquence and Compassion Moved a City

10. The Characteristics of Palmer’s Ministry

Part Four: John L. Girardeau – Unction at Work 

11. South Carolina Is My Mother

12. A Unique Ministry to Low Country Blacks

13. Changes after the Civil War: A Professorship and Pastorate in Columbia

14. Girardeau the Preacher

15. Exalting and Proclaiming Christ

16. Effective Sermons: Their Nature and Power

Epilogue: A Concluding Reflection on Their Preaching and Ours 



Douglas F. Kelly is the Richard Jordan Professor of Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, North Carolina.