No orders of service from either of Charles G. Finney’s pastorates are extant. However, orders of service from the First Church in Oberlin, Ohio, are available from the pastorate of Finney’s successor, James Brand, dating from the 1890s—a full twenty-five years after Finney’s retirement. In addition, sermon notes (c.1850) from Finney’s son-in-law, James Monroe, containing order-of-service outlines, are also available. The orders of service described in Monroe’s notes correspond to the orders of service observed at First Church of Oberlin nearly a half-century later. We can, therefore, have a certain amount of confidence that the order of service given below (a hybrid developed from Monroe’s notes and the First Church orders) is similar to the liturgy employed during Finney’s tenure.
A definite pattern of worship developed in the revival movements of the American frontier and in the campaigns of American evangelists. This “revivalistic” approach to worship has continued as the dominant tradition in the “free churches” of America and is found today particularly within the fundamentalist and evangelical communities.
A number of Protestant churches trace their descent from the Puritan heritage. In their worship, these groups share a commitment to a common principle: worship must be ordered according to the Word of God alone. Puritan worship is also characterized by covenant theology and an emphasis on prayer.