Durbin, John Price, Dd
Durbin, John Price, D.D.
an eminent Methodist Episcopal minister, was born in Bourbon County, Kentucky, in 1800. He was converted in his eighteenth year; served some time as local preacher; but, because of his vehement style of delivery, his health gave out, and obliged him to resort to conversational preaching in the cabins of his neighbors. In 1820 he entered the Ohio Conference, and was appointed to Greenville Circuit; and now, on the saddle, he began his search for knowledge, struggling through various books, including the English, Latin, and Greek grammars, until 1822, when he was stationed on a circuit.twelve miles from Oxford, the seat of the Miami University, which institution he immediately attended. In 1825 he entered the Cincinnati College, where he completed his course, and received the degree of A.M. After being seven years in the ministry, he was elected professor of languages in Augusta College, Kentucky, which position he held two years. His health then failing, he was appointed agent for the college, and in its behalf visited the Eastern cities. His eloquence made him famous, and soon his name was sufficient to call together thousands. In 1832 he was elected to the editorship of the Christian Advocate, in New York; in 1834 was transferred to the New York Conference, and elected president of Dickinson College, at Carlisle, Pennsylvania; in 1836 was transferred to the Philadelphia Conference, of which he remained a member during life. In 1842 and 1843 he travelled in Europe and the East, and published, as the result, four volumes of Observations. In 1844 he was a delegate to the General Conference, where he took an active part, and exhibited great ability in the contest concerning slavery. Having vacated his office in Dickinson College, he, in 1850, was appointed as missionary secretary, and, under his control, Methodist Episcopal missions were extended into China, India, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Bulgaria, Italy, and South America; and the Church entered upon a new aera of princely giving. He died October 18, 1876. Besides the above books of travel, Dr. Durbin edited the American edition of Wood's Mosaic History of the Creation, with Notes (8vo); and contributed largely to various periodicals. See Minutes of Annual Conferences, 1877, page 33; Simpson, Cyclop. of Methodism, s.v.