Happy Birthday to James Renwick Willson!

James Renwick Willson, Reformed Presbyterian minister, was born near Elizabeth, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh, on April 9, 1780. He studied for the ministry under Alexander McLeod, whom he later succeeded to the pastorate at Coldenham-Newburgh Reformed Presbyterian Church. The current pastoral intern at Coldenham-Newburgh RPC is our very own Zach Dotson, who has ably written a biographical sketch of J.R. Willson here

Willson's fascinating life includes the fact that he edited The Evangelical Witness for many years; he was, perhaps, the first to translate (a portion of) Francis Turretin's Institutes of Elenctic Theology into English; and he was burned in effigy for his sermon on Prince Messiah, which was also publicly burned in a bonfire. 

He died on September 29, 1853, and is buried at the Coldenham-Newburgh RPC. His son, James McLeod Willson, another distinguished minister and author, wrote a biographical sketch of his father. J.R. Willson is remembered today as a faithful American Covenanter pastor, who dedicated his life to serving the King of kings, and Lord of lords, in both church and state.