Donnell, Robert

Donnell, Robert a Cumberland Presbyterian minister, was born in Guilford County, N.C., in April 1784. In 1806 he was given authority to preach, and in 1809 penetrated into northern Alabama and organized several congregations in that new country. In October 1811, he was ordained. Previous to 1817 he labored chiefly as an itinerant minister; after that date he settled first in Madison County, Alabama, where he resided about two years, and then settled ten miles from Athens, Limestone County. Although at this time engaged in agricultural pursuits, he still was laboriously employed as a minister. The General Assembly of 1831 appointed him one of five missionaries to western Pennsylvania. About 1830 he began to labor in Nashville, and, as a result, Cumberland Presbyterianism was introduced into that city. For the purpose of organizing a congregation, he went to Memphis in 1845, and labored there several months. Shortly after, he succeeded the Reverend George Donnell as pastor of the congregation at Lebanon, Tennessee, and remained until February 1849, when he removed to Athens, Alabama, where he died, May 24, 1855. Mr. Donnell published, in the latter part of his life, a small volume entitled Thoughts. When the first General Assembly met, in 1829, at Princeton, Kentucky, he preached the opening sermon; and in 1837 he was moderator of that body. For a considerable time he was regarded as the leader of the southern portion of the Church. See Beard, Biographical Sketches (1st ser.), page 101.

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