The Top Ten List

Christian Leaders of Massachusetts

On the following pages are listed the top ten Christian leaders in Massachusetts history. Literally hundreds of names could have been included. No doubt, there are more than a few glaring omissions. Ever since the first English Pilgrims and Puritans settled here in the 1620s and ’30s, Massachusetts has led the nation in producing Christian leaders from all walks of life. Ministers, authors, statesmen, sports heroes and business people have professed their faith in Jesus Christ, sometimes in the face of ridicule, but often as a testimony to their success.

As Oliver Wendell Holmes said, Boston is “the hub of the solar system.” The Puritans believed that Massachusetts was literally the “New Jerusalem.” The names New Hampshire, New Haven, New England speak of the mandate of the New Testament to build the city of God on earth. The names of towns, rivers and places echo biblical names and doctrines. Even the city of Boston, originally named Tremont for the three hills the city was built upon, alludes to the Trinity. It was a city built upon the foundation of God.

While few today would think of New England’s citizens as being God’s chosen people, when we look at our great achievement and culture, it is obvious that there is a special calling for the region. Here is only a brief representation of the Christian leaders of four centuries. As the growing number of Christian students and local churches attest, it may not be long before we will see a new generation of Christian leaders who will build “the city of God” on the foundation laid by its founders.

  1. 1. William Bradford: Governor of Plymouth Colony (1590-1657)
  2. 2. John Winthrop: Governor of Massachusetts (1587-1649)
  3. 3. Anne Bradstreet: America's first poet (1612-1672)
  4. 4. Jonathan Edwards: The First Great Awakening (1703-1758)
  5. 5. George Whitefield: The First Transatlantic Evangelist (1714-1770)
  6. 6. Phillis Wheatley: Forerunner of American Abolitionism (1753-1784)
  7. 7. Samuel Adams: Father of the American Revolution (1722-1803)
  8. 8. John Quincy Adams: America's Evangelist President (1767-1848)
  9. 9. Dwight Lyman Moody: America's Greatest Evangelist (April 21, 1855)
  10. 10. Billy Sunday Draws 70,000 to Boston Revival (November 12, 1916)

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