Tennent, Gilbert

Tennent, Gilbert, 1703–64, American Presbyterian clergyman, leading preacher of the Great Awakening, b. Ireland; son of William Tennent. He moved with his parents to Pennsylvania c.1718. Installed as pastor at New Brunswick, N.J., in 1726, he soon became the leader of a revival movement among the Presbyterians in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. A friend of George Whitefield, Tennent made (1740–41) an evangelistic tour in New England. Opposition to the revival from conservatives in the Presbyterian Church led to a schism (1741–58). Tennent led the “New Side” but later used his influence to heal the breach. He was interested in the College of New Jersey (now Princeton) and in 1753 he went to Great Britain with Samuel Davies to secure funds for the college.

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