Who was Lyman Beecher? (October 12, 1775 A.D – January 10, 1863 A.D)


Lyman Beecher (October 12, 1775 A.D – January 10, 1863 A.D), American Presbyterian clergyman, born in New Haven, Connecticut, and educated at Yale College. He became pastor of the Presbyterian Church at East Hampton, New York, in 1798 A.D. At this church, in 1804 A.D, he attained national prominence through his brilliant sermon on the death of the American statesman Alexander Hamilton, who was killed in a duel with the American statesman Aaron Burr.

Beecher held pastorates successively at Litchfield, Connecticut, and Boston between 1810 A.D and 1832 A.D, and during this period he became known as one of the most eloquent preachers of his time. Lyman Beecher also was one of the Great leaders of a Presbyterian faction, called the New School, that opposed the strict doctrine and discipline of the conservative Presbyterians, called the Old School.

In 1832 A.D He was appointed first president of Lane Theological Seminary, near Cincinnati, Ohio, and pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church of Cincinnati. Lyman Beecher is doctrinal liberalism soon brought him into conflict with his regional superiors. In 1835 A.D he was tried by the presbytery on charges of heresy and hypocrisy, but was acquitted.

The Presbyterian Synod, to which the verdict was appealed, sustained Lyman also acquittal in the same year. When the schism foreshadowed by the Old School-New School controversy finally developed in 1838 A.D, Beecher adhered to the New School. He continued to preach at his Cincinnati church until 1842 A.D and retained the titular presidency of Lane Theological Seminary for the remainder of his life. Lyman Beecher was the father of 13 children, among them the noted American writer Harriet Beecher Stowe. All seven of his sons became clergymen. His writings include Collected Works ( 1852 A.D) and Autobiography and Correspondence (1863 A.D)

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