Rev. J. Clement French, D.D.
b.3 May 1831 Barre, Vermont
Facts and Events
The youngest of four children of Rev. Justus Warner French, who preached at Barre, Montpelier and Hardwick in Vermont for eleven years. When young Justus was a year and a half, his father moved to Geneva, New York, and became principal of the Geneva Lyceum, a school to train young men for the ministry. Here and at Albion and Palmyra, young Justus pursued his studies. In 1850, he entered Williams College in Massachusetts, graduating in 1853 as valedictorian of his class. Subsequently he entered Union Theological Seminary in New York, and was licensed to preach the gospel by the association of Albany in 1856.
A throat difficulty seeming to forbid public speaking, he entered upon the work of teaching, but accepted occasional invitations to speak. In December 1856, he received a unanimous call to become the pastor of the Central Congregational Church of Brooklyn, New York, which he accepted, and where he served until 1870. During his time there, the church had between five and six hundred members, and some four hundred students in its Sabbath school.