evangelist (ĭvănˈjəlĭst) [key] [Gr., = Gospel], title given to saints Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the authors of the four Gospels. The four evangelists are often symbolized respectively by a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle, on the basis of Rev. 4.6–10. In modern times the term is applied to Protestant clergy and religious leaders who preach personal conversion, especially those who travel extensively to do so. The greatest effort of evangelism was undoubtedly the Great Awakening. Methodism is essentially evangelical in its origins; John Wesley and George Whitefield were the great Methodist evangelists. George Fox, founder of the Quakers (see Friends, Religious Society of), was also an evangelist. Dwight Moody was a prominent 19th-century American evangelist. Billy Graham is a notable modern example. See also camp meeting; revival, religious.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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