On May 6, 1867, George Washington Truett was born as his parent's seventh child. He was born and grew up on his family's mountain farm in North Carolina. The Lord began to convict him at an early age of his need of salvation, and although he attended church regularly he knew he was not saved.
He finished school at eighteen and the following year filled the teacher's position in the school he had just graduated from, starting with fifty students. It was during this time, at nineteen years of age, that he was saved while attending special meetings at his church. Shortly after his salvation he came up with a plan to start a private Christian school in the hills of Georgia. When he was twenty years old Hiawassee Academy opened with Truett as the principal and teacher. The student body soon numbered three hundred students, and Truett kept always a strong Christian atmosphere in the school, and was able to see numbers of his students saved.
In 1889 the Truett family moved to Texas. The church his family became members of soon elected George as the Sunday school superintendent, and with time ordained him to the ministry. Of his ordination service it is recorded that one of the worst men in the community attended and was converted. Not long after his ordination, while only twenty-three years old, he was appointed the financial secretary of Baylor University as they struggled with an indebtedness of $92,000.00. In twenty-three months, during 1891-1893, George was able to eliminate that debt and establish the school as financially stable again. The following September he enrolled as a freshman at Baylor - the school which he had just been the financial secretary of!
While a student, Truett pastored East Waco Baptist Church and conducted revival meetings in the First Baptist of Waco. He graduated in 1897 and the following summer, at age thirty, he took the pastorate of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. He began the second sunday in September, 1897, and remained as pastor until his death in July, 1994 - a span of 47 years. While he was the pastor, the church grew to cover an entire city block, and was one of the world's largest churches of the time.
Thousands were saved under his ministry in Texas, but his ministry was not confined only to Waco. Starting in 1902 and continuing for thirty-seven years he preached the "cowboy meetings" which were revival services held in the Davis Mountains of western Texas. He was also one of the men appointed by President Wilson to preach to the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe during World War I. In 1920 he preached to over 15,000 people for an hour and fifteen minutes from the Capitol steps in Washington D.C. He was president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1927 to 1929, and also president of the Baptist World Alliance from 1934 to 1939. During Truett's life, he preached to large crowds in many world centres such as London, Stockholm, Paris, Berlin, Jerusalem, Toronto, Atlanta and many others. As president of the Baptist World Alliance, he also toured and preached to large crowds in countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Chile, England, Egypt, Palestine, India, Burma, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Japan.
Truett preached over 17,000 sermons during his ministry, and he is remembered for his humble and simple but spiritual form of preaching. He did not rant and rave, but in a very conversational form of preaching spoke and appealed directly to people. Many called him the greatest orator of the day, and many also refered to him as a second Spurgeon. He went home to be with the Lord on July 7, 1944, after several months of sickness.
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