Fonda, Jesse an early Reformed (Dutch) minister, was born at Watervliet, N.Y. in 1786. He was converted in youth, and graduated from Union College with honor, in 1806. The Classis of Albany licensed him to preach in 1809, his theological course having been pursued with some neighboring ministers.
He then began a course of systematic and thorough study, which gave high tone to his future ministry. His first settlement was at Nassau, from 1808 to 1813, in connection with the adjacent church of Schodack. His reputation grew so rapidly as a preacher that he was called in the latter year to the First Church of New Brunswick, N.J. Here he sustained himself with marked ability in the presence of the professors and students of the college and theological seminary. In 1817 he removed to the large and flourishing church at Montgomery, N.Y., where he labored until his decease in 1827. Mr. Fonda published several pamphlets upon subjects. of current interest, and was the author of a valuable practical volume upon The Sacraments, which elicited considerable discussion as to .his views of the nature of the baptism of John the Baptist; viz. that it was not Christian baptism. See Magazine of Ref. Dutch Church, November and December 1827, 2:228, 263, 340; Steele, Centennial Discourse; Corwin, Manual of the Ref. Church in America, s.v. (W.J.R.T.)