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Adams, William (25 January 1807–31 August 1880), minister and seminary president, was born in Colchester, Connecticut, the son of John Adams, an educator, and Elizabeth Ripley. Adams grew up in Andover, Massachusetts, where his father was the principal of Phillips Academy. He entered Yale College in 1824, where he received his A.B. in 1827. After college he returned home to study at Andover Theological Seminary and to assist his father in teaching. He completed his seminary training in 1830 and was ordained a Congregational minister. He began service as the pastor of a church in Brighton, Massachusetts, in 1831. He married Susan P. Magoun in July 1831. His wife’s illness forced him to resign from the Brighton pastorate in early 1834, but following her death in May, he accepted a ministerial call to the Broome Street (later Central) Presbyterian Church in New York City. Since the Congregational and Presbyterian denominations then enjoyed a spirit of mutual respect and cooperation, Adams switched denominations and was installed as pastor in November 1834. In August 1835 he married Martha B. Magoun, the sister of his first wife....

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Whitsitt, William Heth (25 November 1841–20 January 1911), Baptist historian, educator, and seminary president, was born near Nashville, Tennessee, the son of Rubin Ewing Whitsitt and Dicey McFarland, farmers in the Cumberland Valley. In 1861 he graduated with distinction (M.A.) from Union University in Murfreesboro. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Whitsitt enlisted in the Confederate army as a private and served first as a scout, then as a chaplain. He was captured and spent a year in federal prisons....