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Summers, Thomas Osmond (1812-1882), minister and theologian  

E. Brooks Holifield

Summers, Thomas Osmond (11 October 1812–06 May 1882), minister and theologian, was born on the Isle of Purbeck, Dorsetshire, England, the son of James Summers and Sarah (maiden name unknown), poor working people. Both parents died before he was six, so his grandmother and aunt raised him. In 1830 Summers came to New York and was immediately naturalized. He proceeded to Washington, D.C., where in 1832 he joined the Methodist Episcopal church, which he saw as offering an alternative both to his childhood Calvinism and to a nagging religious skepticism. Within two years the Methodists licensed him to preach, and the Baltimore Conference, which admitted him on trial in 1835, ordained him as a deacon in 1837 and an elder in 1839....