Callender, Elisha

Callender, Elisha, minister of the first Baptist church in Boston, was the son of Ellis Callender, who officiated as pastor of the First Baptist church in Boston for many years, dying about 1726, at about eighty years of age. The son, Elisha, was born in Boston, and graduated as bachelor of arts at Harvard College in 1710. He was baptized and admitted to church membership August 10, 1713, and was ordained as a Baptist minister May 21, 1718, and Drs. Increase and Cotton Mather and Mr. Webb, though of a different denomination, gave their assistance. It is said that Thomas Hollis (a Baptist) was so impressed by this catholic procedure when he heard of it in England, that he made his well-known benefactions to Harvard College in consequence. Mr. Callender abounded in labors not only in Boston, but throughout the commonwealth, till his death, March 31, 1738. He was the first American Baptist minister who had received a college education. — Sprague, Annals, 6:34; Allen, Biographical Diet. s.v.

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