Ross, John (3)

Ross, John (3), a Presbyterian minister, was born in Dublin, Ireland. July 23, 1783, of Roman Catholic parents, but was left in a state of orphanage when quite young. At the age of nineteen he left his friends secretly and went to sea. On his way to Liverpool he was seized by a press gang and put on board a man-of-war. Afterwards, at Barbadoes and elsewhere, he was pressed a second and a third time. His numerous desertions and wonderful escapes would constitute the staple of a romance. He at last reached the United States, and went to work at his early trade of shoemaker at New London, Conn. He was still a bigoted Roman Catholic; but as there was no church of that denomination in the town, he was in some degree weaned from his attachment and, through contact with Protestants, brought to reflect upon his condition, and eventually led to realize that he was a sinner, and that something beyond the power of priestly absolution was necessary to give his troubled conscience rest. By prayer to the Friend and Savior of sinners, he found pardon and peace. Soon after his conversion his mind was turned to the ministry, and Providence wonderfully opened the way for him, as it does for all who are truly called to that work. By the aid of an association of ladies he was enabled to enter Middlebury College, Vt., where he graduated in 1811. He entered Princeton Theological Seminary in 1813. After remaining in the seminary over two years, Mr. Ross preached as a missionary for about three months in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He was educated for the foreign field, and was in readiness to go to it, but the Board had not the funds to send him. He was therefore sent to Somerset and Bedford, Pa. Having received a call from the Church at Somerset, he was ordained as pastor by the Presbytery of Redstone in 1817. From Somerset he went to Ripley, O., in 1819, where he remained about four years, and afterwards went to Indiana, preaching at different points and for various periods of time on his way. In both Ohio and Indiana he did much missionary work, traveling on horseback over wild and wide ranges of country. He preached several sermons in the old fort at Fort Wayne, Ind., when there were very few houses in that now large and flourishing city, and he is said to have been the first Presbyterian minister that ever preached in that town. In September, 1824, he settled at Richmond, Ia., and was pastor of Beulah Presbyterian Church for twenty-five years, from 1824 to 1849. From the minutes of the General Assembly it appears that in 1849 he was a member of the Presbytery of Muncie, and continued such until his death. In 1849 he was a stated supply at Burlington, la., and in 1850 at Windsor, 0.. being yet quite vigorous for his years. After leaving Richmond, he resided in New Paris, O., Milton, Connersville, Knightstown, Burlington, Muncie, and Tipton, Ia. In labors. he was more abundant as a pioneer in what was then the "far West." As long as he could stand in the pulpit he was fond of preaching, and sometimes preached with the fire of his younger days long after he had become an octogenarian. He lived to be the oldest minister in the Presbyterian Church, and died at the house of his daughter in Tipton, March 11, 1876. (W.P.S.) Ross, William, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was born in Tyringham, Mass., Feb. 10, 1792. He was converted in his seventeenth year, and was received as a probationer in the New York Conference in 1812. In May, 1824, he attended the General Conference in Baltimore, where he signalized himself as the author of a very able and luminous report on missions. He died Feb. 10, 1825. He was a diligent student and an eloquent preacher. See Minutes of Annual Conferences, 1825, p. 476; Sprague, Annals of the Amer. Pulpit, 7, 524.

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