Kerr, Joseph R

Kerr, Joseph R.

son of the preceding, and also a minister of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, was born in St. Clair township, Alleghany Co., Pa., Jan. 18,1807, and was educated at the Western University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1826 with the highest honors of his class. In the fall of 1827 he entered the theological seminary at Pittsburg, founded then only a' short time, over which his father presided, and was licensed Sept. 2, 1829. Only two and a half months later his father died, and young Kerr was called to fill his place in the pastorate, and, accepting the proffered place, was ordained July 29, 1830. "Thus called by Providence to fill the pulpit of such a man as his father, he succeeded, from the very first, in giving entire satisfaction to his people, and soon became one of the most, if he- was not, altogether the most, popular of the preachers in the city, but it was at the expense of such exhausting toil as contributed slowly but surely to undermine a constitution at best but delicate. From being a student of divinity, and without any experience, he entered at once on the pastoral oversight of a large congregation, and all the duties connected with the office of the Christian ministry. In his preparation for the pulpit he was a close, unwearying student. He was ambitious of excellence in whatever he attempted connected with his office, and became a workman that needeth not to be ashamed" (Sprague, Annals [Associate Ref. Presb. Church], 9:162. His health, however, failed him, and in 1832 he was obliged to take an assistant, Moses Kerr (q.v.), a younger brother. His health, notwithstanding this timely precaution, continued to fail, and he died June 14,1843. Kerr published an address, Responsibility of Literary Men (1836), and a sermon on Duelling (1838). (J. H.W.)

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