An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Yale Converts

On Sept. 13, 1722, the day after commencement at Yale College, seven Congregationalist clergy from Connecticut met with the Yale trustees and announced that they questioned the validity of their ordinations. The seven were Timothy Cutler, rector of Yale College, Daniel Brown, tutor at Yale College, Samuel Johnson, minister at Stratford, James Wetmore, minister at North Haven, John Hart, minister at East Guilford, Jared Eliot, minister at Killingworth, and Samuel Whittlesey, minister at Wallingford. This has been called the “Great Apostasy,” and “the dark day.” Brown, Cutler, Johnson, and Wetmore sailed to England, where they were ordained deacons and then priests. Brown died abroad, but Cutler, Johnson, and Wetmore returned to America and served as Anglican clergy. Cutler began a long ministry in Boston. Wetmore went to Rye, New York, and Johnson went to Stratford, Connecticut. Johnson completed the first Anglican church building in Connecticut and acted as “dean” of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG) missionaries in Connecticut for some twenty years. Johnson was also the first president of King's College (later Columbia) where he began to serve in 1754.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.