Rea, John, Dd
Rea, John, D.D.
a Presbyterian divine, was born in the village of Tully, Ireland, in 1772. He emigrated to the United States in 1799, and, after remaining at Philadelphia a short time, "I left on foot," he says, "travelled mostly alone through the wilderness, sad, gloomy, and dispirited, until, after many days, I arrived west of the Alleghany Mountains, stopping at the house of Mr. Porter, a Presbyterian minister." He now labored and struggled amid many adverse circumstances to secure a literary course of education, teaching school and studying alternately, until he graduated with honor at Jefferson College, when it was only a small school kept in a log-cabin near Canonsburg, Pa. He studied theology under the direction of Dr. John M'Millan, was licensed by the Ohio Presbytery in June, 1803, and, after itinerating awhile in the wilderness of Eastern Ohio among some Indian camps, he was appointed to supply the newly organized churches of Beechsprings and Crabapple, over which he was ordained and installed pastor in 1805. The country was settled rapidly, and his charges grew as fast, so that it soon became necessary to have the relation between these two churches dissolved, that he might labor all his time at the Beechsprings. "So untiring and devoted was this servant of Christ that, besides constantly ministering to his own large congregation, he found time to be instrumental in raising up some six or seven separate societies that went out as colonies from the mother Church. and are now self-sustaining and prominent congregations." He died, after a ministry of fifty-two years, Feb. 12. 1855. Dr. Rea was pastor of the Church at Beechsprings forty-five years, and the history of the Presbyterian Church in Eastern Ohio is closely connected with his biography. He was a close, persevering student, clear in the arrangement of his subject. original in his thinking, and independent in thought and expression. See Wilson, Presb. Hist. Almanac, 1867, p. 193. (J. L. S.)