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Brownlow, William Gannaway (1805-1877), minister, newspaper editor, and governor of Tennessee  

Jonathan M. Atkins

Brownlow, William Gannaway (29 August 1805–29 April 1877), minister, newspaper editor, and governor of Tennessee, was born in Wytheville, Virginia, the son of Joseph A. Brownlow and Catherine Gannaway, farmers. Born into a moderately comfortable, slaveholding family, Brownlow was taken in by a maternal uncle after both parents died in 1816. From ages eleven through eighteen he worked on his uncle’s farm and attended the local common schools when possible, although most of his education came through his own private reading. In 1823 he moved to Abingdon, Virginia, to learn the carpentry trade from another uncle. His work as a carpenter ended abruptly when he experienced a religious conversion at a Methodist camp meeting in nearby Sulphur Springs in 1825. Following this meeting, he completed his current carpentry jobs and moved back to Wytheville to study for the ministry with William Horne. After a year of training, he was licensed for the ministry by the church’s Holston Conference and began a career as an itinerant preacher....


Capers, William (1790-1855), Methodist bishop, editor, and missionary  

Will Gravely

Capers, William (26 January 1790–29 January 1855), Methodist bishop, editor, and missionary, was born at Bull-Head Swamp plantation in St. Thomas Parish, South Carolina, the son of William Capers, a planter and former revolutionary war officer, and Mary Singeltary. William was only two years old when his mother died, and he was reared primarily by his stepmother, Mary Wragg. After being tutored at home, he attended schools in Georgetown, South Carolina, and in the High Hills, Santee. At age sixteen he entered South Carolina College, but he found his preparation in classical studies inadequate. After dropping out to study law with John S. Richardson of Stateburg, South Carolina, Capers soon abandoned that career for the ministry in the Methodist Episcopal (ME) church....


Haven, Gilbert (1821-1880), Methodist bishop, editor, and abolitionist  

William B. Gravely

Haven, Gilbert (19 September 1821–03 January 1880), Methodist bishop, editor, and abolitionist, was born in Malden, Massachusetts, the son of “Squire” Gilbert Haven, a bookkeeper and clerk, and Hannah Burrill. Young Gilbert attended local schools and then Wesleyan Academy in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, for two terms in 1839. After he worked in Boston in clothing and carpet businesses, he did another term at Wilbraham to prepare for entering Wesleyan University in 1842....


Lynch, James (1839-1872), minister, editor, and politician  

Leslie H. Fishel

Lynch, James (08 January 1839–18 December 1872), minister, editor, and politician, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Benjamin Lynch, a merchant and minister, and Benjamin’s wife, a former slave purchased by her husband. Her name is not known. Lynch attended the elementary school operated by the Reverend ...


McAnally, David Rice (1810-1895), Methodist clergyman and editor  

Frederick V. Mills

McAnally, David Rice (17 February 1810–11 July 1895), Methodist clergyman and editor, was born in Grainger County, Tennessee, the son of Charles McAnally, a Methodist minister and sheriff, and Elizabeth Moore. David was educated in the county school and in a private academy. In 1828 he was licensed to preach, and the next year he was admitted into the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal church. In 1831 McAnally was ordained a deacon, and in 1833 he became an elder. He married Maria Ann Patton Thompson in December 1836 in Abingdon, Virginia; they had three children. After her death in 1861, he married Julia Reeves in 1871; they had no children....


McFerrin, John Berry (1807-1887), editor, administrator, and minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South  

Frank Gulley

McFerrin, John Berry (15 June 1807–10 May 1887), editor, administrator, and minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was born in Rutherford County, Tennessee, the son of James McFerrin, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church, and Jane Campbell Berry. McFerrin’s formal education was meager. Although he completed only a few years of elementary education, McFerrin had a good mind, was eager to learn, and eventually acquired an education through independent study....


Nast, William (1807-1899), Methodist clergyman and editor  

Henry Warner Bowden

Nast, William (15 January 1807–16 May 1899), Methodist clergyman and editor, was born in Stuttgart, Württemberg (now Germany), the son of Elizabeth Magdalene Ludovika Böhm and Johann Wilhelm Nast, merchants. He was baptized in the Lutheran church five days after birth, receiving his father’s full name, but most historical references have Anglicized his name to William. Orphaned at the age of seventeen, he lived with his eldest sister, who had married a theologian, and it was assumed that he would pursue a ministerial career. After attending schools in Stuttgart and Baihingen-an-der-Enz, Nast began seminary studies in 1821 in Blaubueren. Up to that point he had been strongly influenced by German Pietists and periodically experienced a deep sense of sin together with strong hopes for salvation. At the seminary, however, influences of a rationalistic, skeptical sort awaited him in the form of his roommate, David Friedrich Strauss. Wrestling with unresolved tensions between faith and reason, Nast turned away from the ministry and for a time (1825–1827) studied at the University of Tübingen. Thereafter, on the advice of his brother-in-law, he sought relief by traveling to the New World for a change of scene....


Sloan, Harold Paul (1881-1961), Methodist minister, editor, and author  

Frederick V. Mills

Sloan, Harold Paul (12 December 1881–22 May 1961), Methodist minister, editor, and author, was born in Westfield, New Jersey, the son of Theodore Reber Sloan, an artist, and Miriam B. Hickman. He was raised in a pietistic Methodist home by parents who were Sunday school teachers; his mother was the daughter of a Methodist clergyman. At age fourteen he joined the Methodist Episcopal church. He attended the University of Pennsylvania for two years and in 1902 entered Drew Theological Seminary in Madison, New Jersey. In 1904 he was ordained a deacon and continued his studies at Crozier Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, until 1906, when he was ordained an elder. He then returned to Drew, where he received a B.D. in 1908. He married Ethel Beatrice Buckwalter in 1909; they had two children....


Stevens, Abel (1815-1897), Methodist Episcopal minister and editor  

Philip N. Mulder

Stevens, Abel (19 January 1815–11 September 1897), Methodist Episcopal minister and editor, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Samuel Stevens, printer, and Mary Hochenmeller. Some sources place his birth date as 17 January. Stevens completed undergraduate studies at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, in 1834, the year in which the New England Conference admitted him to the Methodist ministry. He served churches in Boston and Rhode Island, advancing from trial status to deacon in 1836 and to elder in 1838. After a scholarly tour of Europe in 1837, he married Marguerite Otheman in 1838; they had six children. Stevens continued his ministry and received an M.A. from Brown University in 1839....