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John Glendy – Irish and American Revolutionary

by Familia Ulster Genealogical Review: No. 18, 2002


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by Nancy Sorrells

Fanning The Flames Of Revolution From The Presbyterian Pulpit.

"IT MUST HAVE BEEN AN UNUSUAL SIGHT: an elegantly dressed man, short in stature, but possessing a powerful air. His hair was fashionably curled and powdered, his complexion pale, and his eyes a piercing blue. The occasion was a presbytery meeting in Washington, DC and, as he climbed into the pulpit to deliver his oration, he was annoyed to discover that there was no footstool, something necessary to a man of his stature if he was to successfully deliver a ringing and powerful oration.

With little hesitation he reached for the large pulpit Bible, placed it upon the floor and was thus able to deliver his sermon while standing on the holy book. The next morning when he was light-heartedly taken to task for such sacrilege by his fellow ministers, he responded in a manner that had come to be expected of the Reverend John Glendy.

At the end of a rather long response delivered with ‘unusual gravity’, according to contemporary accounts, ‘he added that he had stood upon the Bible from his early years, almost from his cradle, that it was the basis of all his hopes and that by his standing upon the Prophets and Apostles, in the higher sense, it was not very likely that he intended to insult them by standing upon them in a different sense.’"

This article looks at John Glendy, a pious revolutionary who used the foundation of the Presbyterian Church to ignite the hearts of revolutionaries in whatever corner of the world he decided to preach.