Ordinary Greatness: A Life of Elias Boudinot
By Andrew Farmer
Learn how the founder of American Bible Society drew on the Bible to navigate the spiritual, intellectual, moral, and political challenges of the American Founding.
You won’t find this American Founder on a coin or a Broadway musical. But Elias Boudinot (1740–1821) left an enduring mark on history. Hamilton’s mentor. Washington’s friend. President of the Continental Congress, Revolutionary War veteran, legislator, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and abolitionist. Boudinot shaped governments, schools, churches, and charities. Now, in the first biography dedicated to his life in 50 years, Ordinary Greatness invites readers to discover the compelling story of this Founder’s dedication to faith and liberty amid volatile times.
Set in times of division and change not unlike our own, Ordinary Greatness guides readers from the Great Awakening to the early Republic. It explores Boudinot’s life alongside four of his close connections: George Whitefield, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Alexander Hamilton. It shows how Boudinot’s faith shaped his public and private roles and his convictions on government, slavery, and missions. And it offers a new generation fresh inspiration and courage to face our own challenges.
Philadelphia: American Bible Society, 2022
Paperback, 288 pages
2 maps + 18 color illustrations
What Others Are Saying
“In the era of the American Revolution, Elias Boudinot was friendly, generous, welcoming, a problem-solver, a man of faith, a person you’d enjoy getting to know. With conversational and fast-moving prose, Andrew Farmer introduces readers to this champion of both faith and liberty.” —Jonathan J. Den Hartog, Professor of History, Samford University; author of Patriotism and Piety: Federalist Politics and Religious Struggle in the New American Nation
From the Introduction
“Elias Boudinot was born into, grew up in, and actively engaged with, a world of volatile change. Some of his contemporaries saw in this change the wanton destruction of the established order. Others saw the opportunity to build something new, though what a new order should look like was itself in debate. Boudinot was known as a lover of liberty and a patriot of passion and principle. But his deepest commitment was to the religious faith handed down to him across generations. Elias Boudinot stood at the crossroads of radical ideas of liberty and historic creeds of faith. The way he navigated that intersection makes his story worth knowing.” —Andrew Farmer, Ordinary Greatness
About the Author
Andy Farmer is a pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, PA. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from St. Andrews Presbyterian College and a master’s in biblical counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary. Andy is also the author of The Rich Single Life, Real Peace, and Trapped.