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Alexander, Archibald (17 April 1772–22 October 1851), theological scholar, was born in what is today Rockbridge County, Virginia, near Lexington, the son of William Alexander and Ann Reid, farmers. Alexander’s father was also a merchant. By local standards, the Alexanders enjoyed a solid affluence....

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Allen, Alexander Viets Griswold (04 May 1841–01 July 1908), Episcopal priest, theologian, and educator, was born in Otis, Massachusetts, the son of Ethan Allen, a teacher and Episcopal priest, and Lydia Child Burr. His father served churches in Massachusetts and Vermont. Both parents were strongly evangelical in the Episcopal manner of the time, emphasizing biblical authority and teaching more than sacramental theology—a conviction that produced conflict in several of the churches that Allen’s father served. Their piety shaped Allen’s early views, leading him to enroll at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, in 1859. Kenyon was an Episcopal institution then of an evangelical stamp. An excellent student, Allen delivered the valedictory address upon graduating in 1862 and immediately entered Bexley Hall, a theological seminary in Gambier....

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Ames, Edward Scribner (21 April 1870–29 June 1958), theologian and Disciples of Christ minister, was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, the son of Lucius Bowles Ames, a Disciples minister and farmer, and Adaline Scribner, a housekeeper. Ames was educated at Drake University, receiving a B.A. in 1889 and an M.A. in 1891. He then studied at Yale, where he received a B.D. in 1892. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 1895. After teaching at Butler College in Indianapolis from 1897 to 1900, Ames moved to Chicago as pastor of the Hyde Park (later University) Church, Disciples of Christ, serving until 1940. In 1893 he married Mabel Van Meter; they had four children. Ames began teaching philosophy at the University of Chicago in 1900. He later edited the ...

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Anderson, Rufus (17 August 1796–30 May 1880), mission administrator and theologian, was born in North Yarmouth, Maine, the son of Rufus Anderson, a Congregational minister, and Hannah Parsons. His mother died when he was seven, and Anderson moved to Wenham, Massachusetts, after his father remarried. He grew up in the midst of the evangelical Protestant Christianity of the churches and other religious organizations in which his father was a leader and attended the 1812 ordination of the first Protestant foreign missionaries sent to India from the United States by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. Anderson attended Bowdoin College (A.B., 1818), where he experienced the conversion expected in his religious tradition and decided to be a missionary. He graduated from Andover Theological Seminary in 1822....

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Bacon, Benjamin Wisner (15 January 1860–01 February 1932), clergyman and theological professor, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, the son of Susan (née Bacon) and Leonard Woolsey Bacon, a clergyman. Bacon grew up surrounded by the traditions, habits and the learning of a family of distinguished New England clerics. His paternal grandfather, ...

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Ballou, Hosea (30 April 1771–07 June 1852), theologian and clergyman, was born in Richmond, New Hampshire, the son of Maturin Ballou, a farmer and unpaid Baptist minister, and Lydia Harris, who came from a Rhode Island Quaker family and died when her son was two years old. Growing up in extreme poverty, Ballou had less than three years of formal schooling. A few months before his nineteenth birthday, he came forward in a revival meeting and joined his father’s church. But before the year was over Ballou’s interest in religion had led him to become a Universalist. Moving in with an older brother who was already a Universalist minister, Ballou prepared himself to teach and preach by attending first a community school and then a nearby academy. Despite the fact that his friends, after hearing his first sermon, delivered in 1791, doubted his “talent for such labor,” Ballou preached wherever he found an open door. The next year he determined to make the ministry his career even though he had to support himself by teaching. In 1793 he went to the first of the nearly fifty New England Universalist conventions he would attend, and by the next year’s session he had so impressed his colleagues that they spontaneously ordained him. In 1796 Ballou moved to Dana, Massachusetts, and in September of that year he married Ruth Washburn; they had nine children....

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Bellamy, Joseph (20 February 1719–06 March 1790), Congregational minister and theologian, was born in the Cheshire section of Wallingford, Connecticut, the son of Matthew Bellamy, a prosperous landowner, and Sarah Wood, who died when he was an infant. He and ten other children were raised by his father’s second wife, Mary Johnson. In 1731, at age twelve, Bellamy was sent to Yale College, from which he graduated in 1735. He then read theology with ...

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Bennett, John Coleman (22 July 1902–27 April 1995), theologian and seminary president, was born in Kingston, Ontario, the son of William Russell Bennett, a Presbyterian minister, and Charlotte Coleman. He attended Williams College (A.B., 1924), Oxford University (A.B. in theology, 1926; M.A., 1930), and Union Theological Seminary (B.D., 1927; S.T.M., 1929). He married Anna Louesa McGrew in 1931; they had three children. He was ordained as a minister in the Congregational Christian Churches in Berkeley, California, in 1939....

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Berkhof, Louis (13 October 1873–19 May 1957), theologian, was born in Emmen, in the province of Drenthe, the Netherlands, to Jan Berkhof and Geesje ter Poorten, bakers by trade, though Jan later became a factory worker. The family moved to the United States in 1882, the peak of Dutch-American migration, and settled in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the group’s emerging center. Sharing the deep Calvinistic piety of his parents, Berkhof took both his college and seminary education (1893–1900) at the Theological School of the Christian Reformed Church (later renamed Calvin Theological Seminary) in Grand Rapids. He earned a B.D. degree at Princeton Theological Seminary (1902–1904) and, after serving two Christian Reformed congregations in the Grand Rapids area, was named professor of biblical theology at the Calvin Theological Seminary in 1906. There he spent the rest of his career, switching to his preferred field of systematic theology in 1926 and serving as the seminary’s president from 1931 until his retirement in 1944....

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Bomberger, John Henry Augustus (13 January 1817–19 August 1890), pastor and theologian, was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the son of George H. Bomberger, a tailor, clothing merchant, and clerk of the orphan’s court, and Mary Hoffmeier. Bomberger’s maternal grandfather was the Reverend John Henry Hoffmeier, who had come to the United States from Köthen in the Anhalt of Germany and served as pastor of the First Reformed Church in Lancaster. John Henry Augustus was his only grandchild and the special concern of the grandfather, who dedicated the boy for service in the ministry....