Henry Ward Beecher was an American congregationalist clergyman, social reformer, and speaker. Born on 24, June 1813, in Litchfield, Connecticut, US, he was the eighth of thirteen children.
His father was a Presbyterian preacher. Beecher's siblings were educators and activists. He was also the brother to Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin. This made his father become known as ‘the father of more brains than any man in America'.
As a child, Beecher stammered and was considered slow among his siblings. He joined Amherst College where he developed public speaking skills and met his wife Eunice Bullard. After graduating from Amherst, he attended Lane Theological Seminary which was headed by his father who was America's most famous preacher.
He then became a minister in Indianapolis and Lawrenceburg, Indiana. He went on to become the first pastor of the Plymouth Church in Brooklyn. His fame spread as a result of his orating style filled with humor, dialect, and slang.
Beecher's main emphasis in his ministry was God's love, a theology angle that has influenced mainstream Christianity till date. He was strongly drawn to social reforms especially the abolitionist movement.
He raised money that was used to buy slaves from captivity and buy rifles nicknamed Beecher's Bibles for abolitionists fighting in Kansas during the Civil War. After the war, he took part in **reforms like women's right to vote **and the movement to curb alcohol consumption.
Beecher famously supported Charles Darwin's evolution theory and was rumoured to be an adulterer. His adultery trial was one of the most widely reported trials of the century. After his father's death, he effortlessly became the nation's most famous preacher.
Beecher had a long career in the spotlight and biographer Debby Applegate even named his biography The Most Famous Man In America. Here is a collection of his most remarkable quotes.