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In Their Own Words

February 18, 1739

Whitefield Journal Entry on Oglethorpe and Bethesda

George Whitefield’s journal entry for this day shows his dedication to his calling, James Oglethorpe’s willingness to help the church, and the beginnings of the Bethesda orphanage Whitfield helped establish in Georgia:

“Rose this morning by one O’Clock. Took boat in order to go to St. Andrew’s; but the Rudder breaking, we were obliged to return back and desist from our intended Voyage. Went to Bed and slept for a few Hours. Spent a good Part of the Day with the General. Received from him a Bill of Exchange for 150 pounds which he advanced me in order to begin a Church at Savannah. About seven O’Clock set off for Darien, whither I promised to return, to take Mr. Macleod and the Orphans with me to Savannah. The Passage to that Place is generally about four Hours: But the Wind being high and contrary, we were obliged to come to a Grapling, near an open Reach, and did not get to Darien the next day at noon. Mr. Macleod and his Friends received us with Joy, and finding me ill, advised me to lie down; by which I was much refreshed, was was thereby enabled at Night to give God Thanks in Family Prayer.”

Source: [No author or editor cited], Our First Visit in America: Early Reports from the Colony of Georgia, 1732-1740 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1974), pp. 300-301.