A lot of people say invitations and revivalism trace their beginning to Charles Finney. This paper argues that Baptists have practiced invitations and revivals from the period following the First Great Awakening, prior to Finney, and is the major contributing factor behind the numerical preponderance of Baptists in the South.

I think the article makes some interesting points, and should be considered by those interested in this topic.

I would also recommend the site where this article is found. Incredible resource of Baptist documents.