Phillips, William Wirt, Dd
Phillips, William Wirt, D.D.
a Presbyterian divine, was born in Montgomery County, N.Y., September 23, 1796. He graduated at Union College, Schenectady, N.Y., in 1812; completed a three years' course in the Associate Reformed Theological Seminary, New York, and afterwards spent a year in the theological seminary at New Brunswick, N.J., under the instruction of Reverend Dr. Livingston; was licensed by the New Brunswick Classis of the Reformed Dutch Church, and in April 1818, was ordained and installed pastor of Pearl Street Presbyterian Church, New York City. From this church he was called to the First Presbyterian Church, New York. The congregation having disposed of their building and ground in Wall Street, in May, 1844, the corner-stone of the building on Fifth Avenue, near Twelfth Street, was laid in the following autumn, and soon after completed. Dr. Phillips was their beloved pastor for a period of nearly forty years; he was actively engaged in the discharge of his ministerial duties until about four weeks before his death, which occurred March 20, 1865. Dr. Phillips was a man of the utmost simplicity of character; a sound and able preacher of the Gospel, whose aim in the pulpit was to hold forth the Word of Life in all its purity, and to impress it with solemnity upon the hearts of all his hearers. He was moderator of the General Assembly which met at Pittsburgh in 1835, and for many years previous to his death he was the presiding officer of the Board of Foreign Missions. He was also president of the Board of Publication; a trustee of Princeton College and Seminary; a director of the Sailors' Snug Harbor, and several other benevolent institutions. See Wilson, Presb. Hist. Almanac, 1866, page 160; Congreg. Quar. 1859, page 133. (J.L. S.)