Parmelee, David Lewis

Parmelee, David Lewis a somewhat noted Congregational minister, was born in Litchfield, Conn., Nov. 11, 1795; received his preparatory training at the school of his native town, and then entered upon mercantile employment. He was all this time a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, but the frequent appeals from Dr. Lyman Beecher, which he heard, for a devoted and active Christian life, influenced Parmelee finally to change his Church relations, and he became while at Goshen, whither he had removed, a member of the Congregational Church. Having amassed a tolerable competency, and feeling called of God to preach, he forsook the counting-desk, and entered upon the study of theology under the direction of his pastor, Dr. Harvey. When Parmelee finally offered himself before the Middlesex (Conn.) Association, he was by that body approved and licensed to preach. After laboring for a season in several parishes as a temporary supply, he was, at the age of thirty-five, ordained and installed as pastor of the Congregational Church and society in Bristol, Conn. Although entering on the public ministry thus, compared with many, late in life, it was evident that God had ordered his previous course of training, even in things secular as well as religious, that he might the better know how to "take care of the Church of God." His ministry of ten years in Bristol was eminently useful and successful. The congregation was largely increased. Special revivals were enjoyed, and the Church greatly strengthened and prospered. At the end of ten years' constant labor, "instant in season, out of season," he felt the need of temporary rest. He was not, however, allowed to remain long unemployed The Church and society in Litchfield, South Farms (now Morris), soon sought his labors, and he was shortly after installed as their pastor. The Church had been feeble and divided, but his labors were blessed, promoting their union and strength; and his ministry of twenty years as their sole pastor was one of great spiritual benefit to them and to their children. As a watchman on the walls of Zion, he was ever vigilant against the incursions of error. As a shepherd, entrusted by the great Head of the Church with the care of the flock, like his namesake of old, So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands. In consequence of waning bodily health and strength, Parmelee gave up the responsible charge of his Church, and removed to Litchfield in 1861; and there he died, June 29,1865. "His end was peace; he rests from his labors, and his works do follow him." He was deeply interested in all benevolent and religious enterprises; and, after having made ample provision for the earthly comfort of his wife, he gave by his will valuable legacies to several of them. See Congreg. Quar, April, 1866, p. 211 sq.

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