Gros, John Daniel
- Steven L. Porter
Gros, John Daniel (1737–25 May 1812), clergyman, college professor, and philosopher, was born in the Bavarian Palatinate at Webenheim, near the city of Zweibrücken, Germany, the son of Lorenz Gros and Anna Magdalena. Little is known of Gros’s upbringing and early education. His name is sometimes spelled Gross. Gros entered the University of Marburg in 1758 and then matriculated at the University of Heidelberg in 1761, partaking in theological studies. Having intentions of entering the pastoral ministry of the German Reformed church, Gros journeyed to America, landing in Philadelphia in 1764. As the North American population continued to increase, a growing need for pastors existed. Gros’s esteemed German education and some influential connections led the German Reformed Coetus of Pennsylvania to ordain him in 1765. The coetus enacted the ordination without first receiving ratification from the Dutch Church Synod in Holland, which was the mandated procedure at that time. This was a precedent-setting act, as the German Reformed denomination in America began to break free from the church authorities in Europe....