(c. 1638-Mar. 27, 1716). First missionary for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. He was born in Aberdeen, Scotland. Keith was educated for the Presbyterian ministry of the Church of Scotland at Marischal College and received his M.A. degree from Aberdeen University in 1658. He joined the Quakers in 1662. Keith was harassed and imprisoned for his preaching. He came to the American colonies in 1668 and settled in Philadelphia. Keith had theological controversies with the other Quaker leaders. After 1691 he organized his supporters as the "Christian Quakers," sometimes called "Keithians." He converted to Anglicanism in 1700 and joined the Church of England. Keith was ordained deacon in May of 1700, and priest in Mar. 1702. On Feb. 27, 1702, he was named the first missionary for the SPG and returned to America. From 1702 to 1704 he made an extensive missionary tour urging Quakers to join the Church of England. His work was especially effective in New Jersey. In 1705 he returned to England and served the remainder of his life as rector of Edburton in West Sussex. Keith died in Edburton. See Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts.
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.