Rev. Charles Beecher

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About Rev. Charles Beecher

Charles Beecher was an American minister, composer of religious hymns and a prolific author.

Beecher was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, the son of Lyman Beecher, an abolitionist Congregationalist preacher from Boston and Roxana Foote Beecher. He was the brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the famous author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, and the brother of renowned Congregationalist minister, Henry Ward Beecher. He also had another prominent and activist sister, Catharine Beecher.

He attended Boston Latin School and Lawrence Academy in Groton, Massachusetts, graduated from Bowdoin College in 1834, and then attended Lane Theological Seminary in Ohio. He taught music classes in Cincinnati, Ohio, and received his preaching license from the Presbytery of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Beecher married Sarah Leland Coffin (1815-1897) in 1840 and they had six children. He served as pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana, from 1844 until 1851. He was also a prominent member of the Peucinian Society.

In 1851, he moved east and ministered to the First Free Presbyterian Church in Newark, New Jersey. The church, known as a stronghold of abolitionism, was expelled from the Presbyterian Synod in 1853, and re-organized as a Congregationalist church. Beecher left in 1857 for a pastorate in Georgetown, Massachusetts. In 1863 he was relieved of his preaching duties in the Congregational Church for preaching against orthodox doctrine. Following the Civil War, he moved to Florida to help his sister Harriet and her husband minister to newly freed slaves. He eventually was state Superintendent of Public Instruction in Florida from 1871–1873. He finished his ministry as acting pastor in Wysox, Pennsylvania, from 1885–1893. Beecher died in Georgetown, Massachusetts.

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Rev. Charles Beecher's Timeline

October 1, 1815
Litchfield, Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States
June 22, 1841
Age 25
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
August 10, 1843
Age 27
Fort Wayne, Allen, Indiana, United States
September 23, 1847
Age 31
November 7, 1849
Age 34
Fort Wayne, Allen, IN, United States
February 15, 1852
Age 36
June 5, 1854
Age 38
April 21, 1900
Age 84
Georgetown, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
Pastor, Second Presbyterian Church, Fort Wayne, Indiana