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Bennett, Belle Harris (03 December 1852–20 July 1922), church and ecumenical leader, was born Isabel Harris Bennett on the family plantation, “Homelands,” in Madison County near Richmond, Kentucky, the daughter of Samuel Bennett and Elizabeth Chenault. Belle (as she preferred) was reared in a cultured and affluent but strict Methodist household. Her parents were descendant from early Virginia and Maryland settlers. Her paternal grandfather had migrated to Madison County around 1790 and was known as “Honest John Bennett,” a Methodist itinerant, who supported himself as a farmer and tailor. Isabel Harris, her maternal grandmother, had migrated from Virginia and was related to the Chenaults, a French Huguenot family that had fled to British America to avoid religious persecution. Belle was the younger of two daughters in a family of eight children, all of whom attended the local county school. At age eleven Belle entered a private school conducted by Robert Breck, a Presbyterian minister. Next she attended Nazareth, a Catholic school, near Bardstown, then furthered her training at College Hill, Ohio. As a student she was proficient in belles lettres and the classics but as both an avid reader, especially of history, and a world traveler she continued her education throughout life. In 1916 Kentucky Wesleyan College conferred on her an honorary LL.D....

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Curtis, Olin Alfred (10 December 1850–08 January 1918), pastor and educator, was born in Frankfort, Maine, the son of Reuben Curtis, a minister, and Mary Gilbert. During his youth Curtis’s family moved from Maine to Wisconsin, and as a young man he worked in business in Chicago, Illinois. Deeply influenced by the preaching of evangelist ...

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Johnson, Paul Emanuel (19 February 1898–01 September 1974), theological educator and psychologist, was born in Niantic, Connecticut, the son of John Edward Johnson, a Methodist clergyman, and Martha Cadwallander. He attended schools in Waterloo, Iowa, and in 1920 received his A.B. degree from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. In 1921 he was awarded an A.M. degree from the University of Chicago. He received a professional theological degree, the S.T.B., from the Boston University School of Theology in 1923 and in 1928 earned a Ph.D. in philosophy of religion from Boston University. In 1922 he married Evelyn Grant, who provided him with intellectual and emotional support throughout his career; they had two children....

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Kidder, Daniel Parish (18 October 1815–29 July 1891), Methodist missionary, minister, and educator, was born at South Pembroke (later Darien), Genesee County, New York, the son of Selvey Kidder, a businessman, and Mehetabel Parish. His mother died when he was ten months old, after which his father took him to live with an aunt and uncle in Randolph, Vermont. When Daniel was thirteen his father (now remarried) took him back to live in Darien. An unusually mature young man, Kidder took sole administrative and instructional charge of the district school, and then of a school at Darien Center, soon after arriving at his father’s home....

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Raymond, Miner (29 August 1811–25 November 1897), pastor and theologian, was born in New York City, the son of Nobles Raymond, a shoemaker, and Hannah Wood. Shortly after his birth the family moved to Rensselaerville, New York, in the foothills of the Catskills. The eldest of nine children born to a poor family, Raymond was able to attend school only until age twelve before financial necessity forced him to help his father make shoes in his shop. At age seventeen he had a conversion experience and joined the local Methodist church. In 1830 he attended the Wesleyan academy at Wilbraham, Massachusetts, to prepare for the ministry. He graduated the next year, having achieved an excellent academic record and paid many of his expenses by making shoes....

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Terry, Milton Spenser (22 February 1840–13 July 1914), Methodist clergyman, educator, and author, was born in Coeymans, New York, the son of John Terry and Eliza MacLaughlin, farmers. His father was a Hicksite Quaker. His family’s modest means prohibited him from completing any course of formal education....

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Tillett, Wilbur Fisk (25 August 1854–04 June 1936), theologian and university administrator, was born in Hendersonville, North Carolina, the son of the Reverend John Tillett, a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and Elizabeth Wyche. His preparation for higher learning began at the Horner School (Oxford, N.C.), which was known for the quality of its scholarship and its strict military organization and discipline. In the fall of 1873 he enrolled in Randolph Macon College after completing two years of study at Trinity College (now Duke University). There he excelled in mathematics and English, subjects he was invited to teach during his senior year. Determined to enter the Methodist ministry, like his father, he enrolled simultaneously in Princeton Theological Seminary and Princeton University, institutions in close geographical proximity to each other. From the university he received the M.A. in 1879. From the seminary, which did not then award degrees, he received a diploma certifying graduation in 1880....