When the President welcomed the man from Bristol to the White House

Posted in Blog, Christianity, Travel

George Muller looked after 10,000 children in Bristol in the nineteenth century and the Foundation he established still flourishes today. His belief that God answers prayer has made his name a byword for faith throughout the world.

On a visit with his wife Susannah to America in 1878, Müller preached about fifty times in the Brooklyn and New York area, including several times in German to the large German population. Then they travelled to Boston where  Müller’s first engagement was at Moody’s Tabernacle – an enormous building which held seven thousand people.

Müller preached twice at the Old Presbyterian Church Newburyport, founded by George Whitefield, and caused a stir by reading from the Bible which had belonged to the great man whose biography he had read forty years earlier; the Bible wasn’t normally opened. Müller spoke from the pulpit which stands just above the spot where Whitefield is buried.

‘God sent you to America, dear brother!’ a pastor said to Müller after he had preached at Dr Mitchell’s Church in Washington.

‘That’s just the kind of teaching we want; something that will rouse and wake up Christians as well as the unconverted. God sent you to America, Sir; of that I’m certain.’

On the morning of January 10th  1878, at half-past nine, the Müllers had a very special appointment. They had been invited to  the  White  House  to  meet  President  Hayes  and  his  wife.

‘They received us with much courtesy,’ said Susannah, ‘and, after making some enquiries about our work in England, the President  entered  for  half  an  hour  into  conversation  with Mr Müller. Mrs Hayes afterwards conducted us through the White House, a large old mansion, and showed us the State apartments, with the various objects of interest which this residence contains.’

Müller had a gruelling three weeks in Washington, often preaching twice a day, but they found time to climb the four hundred feet to the top of the dome on the Capitol Building and to admire the view.

You can read the full story in my book ‘George Muller: Delighted in God’ which is available from Amazon and has never been out of print since it was first published in 1975.