An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Keith, Reuel

(June 26, 1792-Sept. 1, 1842). Seminary professor and prominent low churchman. He was born in Pittsford, Vermont, and educated at Middlebury College in Vermont. He studied for the ordained ministry under John Prentiss Kewly Henshaw, later Bishop of Rhode Island, and at the Andover Theological Seminary. He was ordained deacon on May 10, 1817, and became assistant to the rector at St. John's Parish, Georgetown, Washington, D.C. While at St. John's he helped to establish Christ Church, Washington, and served as its rector, 1817-1820. He was ordained priest on May 24, 1818. He then moved to Williamsburg, Virginia, where he was professor of theology at the College of William and Mary and rector of Bruton Parish. The Virginia Theological Seminary opened in Oct. 1823, and Keith was professor of Old Testament literature, biblical criticism and evidence, as well as professor of pulpit eloquence and pastoral theology. He continued in this position until 1840. He has been described as a decided Calvinist and “the lowest of low churchmen.” Keith died in Sheldon, Vermont. See Low Church.

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