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The Rev. Dr. Phineas Gurley, pastor of NYAPC, 1860-1868, was a spiritual advisor to Abraham Lincoln

Phineas Densmore Gurley (November 12, 1816; September 30, 1868)[1] was Chaplain of the United States Senate and pastor of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC.

Contents

Early Life

Gurley was born in Hamilton, New York, on November 12, 1816,[2],the son of Phineas and Elizabeth (nee Fox) Gurley.[3] Gurley graduated from Union College, Schenectady, New York, in 1837, with the highest honors of his class, and from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1840.[4]

Ministry

Gurley served First Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, (1840-1849) and First Presbyterian Church, Dayton, Ohio, (1850-1854). In 1854, Gurley accepted a call from the F Street Church in Washington, D. C., which in 1859 was united with the Second Presbyterian Church, to become the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. Gurley continued to be the pastor of the merged congregation until his death.

In 1859 he was chosen Chaplain of the Senate of the United States; one of fourteen Presbyterians to hold that office, to date. Dr. Gurley numbered among his worshiping congregation President Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln. Lincoln was a pew holder and regular attender but not a member of the church. Gurley and his wife were frequent guests at the White House. Gurley was at Lincoln's, deathbed and preached his funeral sermon, on April 19, 1865, at the White House.[5]

Gurley had a beautiful singing voice (his mother was a professional singer) and a powerful speaker.[6]

Gurley took an active part in the negotiations that resulted in the union of the Old School and New School branches of the Presbyterian Church. Dr. Gurley continued to serve as pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church until his death in in Washington, D. C., on September 30, 1868. He spent the last two years as moderator of the Presbyterian Church.

Personal Life

Dr. Gurley married Emma Brooks on October 9, 1840. Both were natives of New York. Their children were: Frances Mary Gurley, William Brooks Gurley, Hosea Mellville Gurley, Charles Lawrence Gurley and Emma Harrison Gurley.[7]

References

  1. ^ The History and Genealogy of the Gurley Family, by Albert Ebenezer Gurley, Charles Rogers, Henry Porter Andrews, page 121.
  2. ^ The Poets' Lincoln: Tributes in Verse to the Martyred President, by Osborn Hamiline Oldroyd, page 157.
  3. ^ rootsweb.com
  4. ^ The Poets' Lincoln: Tributes in Verse to the Martyred President, by Osborn Hamiline Oldroyd, page 157.
  5. ^ The Poets' Lincoln: Tributes in Verse to the Martyred President, by Osborn Hamiline Oldroyd, page 157.
  6. ^ New York Avenue Presbyterian Church Historian, Elaine M. Foster
  7. ^ The History and Genealogy of the Gurley family, by Albert Ebenezer Gurley, Charles Rogers, Henry Porter Andrews, page 121.

Additional References

http://www.mrlincolnswhitehouse.org/inside.asp?ID=49&subjectID=2

David Rankin Barbee, "President Lincoln and Doctor Gurley", The Abraham Lincoln Quarterly, March 1948, Volume. V, No. 1.

Allen C. Guelzo, Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President, p. 321.

David Hein, "A Sermon Lincoln Heard: P. D. Gurley's 'Man's Projects and God's Results.'" Lincoln Herald 89 (1987): 161-66.

DeWitt Jones, Lincoln and the Preachers, p. 37.

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