Kerr, Henry M

Kerr, Henry M., a Presbyterian minister, was born in York District, S. C., Dec. 30,1782. In very early life his mother had consecrated him, as Hannah did her Samuel, to the Lord, and had often expressed her desire to him that he should be a minister of the Gospel of the blessed Jesus. His parents being in moderate circumstances, and he the oldest of eleven children, he was compelled to labor for their maintenance; hence his education was much neglected in his earlier years. He went first to an academy in Roman County, N. C.; then he repaired to Iredell County, and enjoyed the advantages of instruction under the celebrated James Hall, D.D. Here he completed a very extensive course of scientific study, and was readily received as a candidate for the ministry by Concord Presbytery in 1811. He pursued his theological course part of the term with the Rev. Dr. Kilpatrick, and part of it with James M'Kee, D.D. In 1814 he was licensed by Concord Presbytery. At that time he was residing in Salisbury, N. C. He remained there, teaching and preaching, uiitil the spring of 1816, when he removed to Lincoln County, and he was ordained in November of that year pastor of Olney, Long Creek, and New Hope churches. In 1819 he removed to Rutherfordtown to take charge of the village academy. He preached at the same time in the old church of Little Britain, and, after three years, removed into the bounds of this church. Here he spent fourteen years, and his labors were again blessed in a remarkable degree. In 1833 he removed to Jonesboro', East Tennessee; but, not finding his ministerial associations pleasant, he travelled further west, and settled in Hardeman County, West Tennessee, in 1835. Here he performed much missionary labor in all the surrounding counties, and organized many churches. The infirmities of age made it necessary for him to abandon, in part, his evangelistic labors, and he devoted the last years of his life to Bethel and Aiwwell churches, in M'Nairy County. In the fall of 1860 he settled near Watervalley, in the Presbytery of North Mississippi, where he finished his long and useful career January 28,1865. Trained under the old system, he made no effort at rhetorical display. His discourses were pre-eminently scriptural. He used " the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God," and it was sharp in the heart of the King's enemies. " His style was perspicuous and energetic, and he was often truly eloquent. The providence of God cast his lot chiefly in destitute portions of the land, and his labors were evangelistic. He organized more churches, it is believed, than any other member of the Presbytery. For many years he was stated clerk of the Presbytery of Western Tennessee District, and his acquaintance with the form of government and discipline was so perfect that his word was taken as the solution of all doubts and difficulties."- Wilson, Presb. Historical Almanac, 1868, p. 338.

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