Stephens, Abednego

Stephens, Abednego, an Episcopal clergyman, was born at Centerville, Queen Anne Co., Md., July 24, 1812. When three years of age his parents moved to Havre de Grace in that state, and from thence, in 1819, to Staunton, Va. In 1829 his father left him in charge of a male academy, which he managed until the close of the session; wound up his father's business, and conducted the family to Columbia, Tenn. He was elected to the presidency of a male academy in that place, resigning to enter the University of Nashville in May, 1832, from which he graduated in October, 1833. On July 3, 1831, he was confirmed by bishop Meade. After graduation he accepted the tutorship of ancient languages in his alma mater, and was soon after made professor in the same department. He attended the General Theological Seminary in New York from October, 1836, to October, 1837, and upon his return was ordained deacon by bishop Otey, Oct. 15, 1837, entering priest's orders soon after. He continued in his college professorship until in 1839 he accepted a call to the presidency of Jefferson College, at Washington, Miss. His health failing, he spent the winter in Cuba; but, receiving no permanent relief, returned and settled at Nashville, where he died, Feb. 27, 1841. "He stood in the front rank of scholars and orators; his sermons were characterized by depth and comprehension of thought, and by profound research and impassioned eloquence." See Sprague, Annals of the Amer. Pulpit, 5, 746.

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