The First Chaplain to the House of Representatives

Rev. William Linn (1752 - 1809)

By Rev. David T. Myers - Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History:

In a day when everyone is decrying our young people’s lack of knowledge of our American republic, try this question on yourself. Who was the nation’s first chaplain elected to the United States House of Representatives? If you answered the Rev. William Linn, of Pennsylvania, a member minister of the Presbyterian Church, give yourself ten bonus points.

His years were February 27, 1752 to January 8, 1809. We don’t know much about his background, but early on, this ardent and most impassioned minister, as he was called by his contemporaries, graduated from the College of New Jersey (later on Princeton Theological Seminary) in 1772. Ordained by the Donegal Presbytery three years later, he found himself in the perilous days leading up to the American Revolution. He became the chaplain of the Continental Army, and as far as we know, proclaimed the Scriptures faithfully to men of that military unit.


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