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Today in Church History

September 6

William Tennent

On September 6, 1718, William Tennent landed in Philadelphia, with his wife, four sons, and daughter.

Trained as a Presbyterian in Scotland, Tennent had served in the Anglican church in Ireland before setting sail for the new world. Ten days after his arrival, he was admitted into the Presbytery, and he labored in parishes in New York before moving to Neshaminy, Pennsylvania, in 1727. There he established the "Log College" in his home, where he would educate his four sons and others in Presbyterian ministry. The school (the formation of which historian Leonard Trinterud called "the most important event in colonial Presbyterianism") became the focus of controversy in its short history. Critics claimed that the ministerial education it provided was deficient, and its graduates (especially Tennent's son, Gilbert) enthusiastically endorsed the Great Awakening and formed the leadership of New Side Presbyterianism.

- John Muether

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