Men & Women Who Dared To Be Different! Friday, May 29, 2009

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Charles’s Final Years

After many requests, Charles and Elizabeth traveled to Great Britain in the fall of 1849 to minister there. Finney again found success with the methods he had come to rely on in the United States, and Elizabeth found success holding meetings for women - a greater empowerment of women’s involvement in ministry was started under Finney’s leadership.

In 1851, Finney became the president of Oberlin College, but he continued to travel and lead revivals as his duties would allow him. Between 1851 and 1857, he would travel and preach in Boston, Massachusetts; New York City; Hartford, Connecticut; and again in Rochester. In 1859, he returned to England and pushed north to preach in Scotland. It was this last trip to the British Isles that taxed his health to its limits; after returning to the United States in 1860 at the beginning of the Civil War, Finney would not leave Oberlin again. On November 27, 1863, Elizabeth passed away. The following year, Finney married for the third time. His new wife, Rebecca Allen Rayl, was the assistant principal of Oberlin’s women’s department.

Though he continued to teach and preach in Oberlin for the rest of his days, Finney resigned from his position as college president in 1866. At the request of friends and colleagues, he would finish his Memoirs in 1868, even though they wouldn’t be published until a year after his death. Two weeks short of his eighty-third birthday, Finney passed away of natural causes as the first hints of autumn hung in the morning air of August 16, 1875.

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