The Quakers

By Hugh Barbour; J. William Frost | Go to book overview
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UPDEGRAFF, DAVID BRAINERD ( 1830, Mt. Pleasant, OH--23 May 1894, Mt. Pleasant). Education: Local Ohio schools; Haverford College; Career: Preacher of instantaneous, entire Holiness. (For his experiences see Chapter 16.)

David's father's family, who came as Mennonites to Germantown, Pennsylvania, with Pastorius, carried the first protest against slavery to Monthly and Quarterly Meetings and settled as millers in Mt. Pleasant; his mother, Rebecca, friend of revivalist Charles G. Finney, named David after the missionary Brainerd, converted in the Great Awakening. David's first wife, also Rebecca, was present at his conversion in a Methodist revival in 1860. The Wilburites disowned him in 1865. His second wife, Eliza, a Presbyterian minister's daughter, asked for a Church wedding, for which David was briefly disowned by the Gurneyites, too, in 1867.

Updegraff was still a farmer and businessman, dissatisfied with his own lukewarmness, when he came to know John S. Inskip, preacher of Holiness. After Updegraff's own experience of sudden, entire sanctification by the Spirit in 1869, he became an intense preacher at Inskip's summer camp Meetings in eastern Holiness centers. Thereafter he went wherever Quaker revivals broke out, especially in Iowa and Ohio, often splitting Meetings over Holiness doctrines. He also became a biblical literalist, persuading the Ohio Yearly Meeting that the doctrine of "the Inner Light" would mean that every person had the Spirit. He was baptized by a Baptist pastor in 1882. Updegraff's baptizing and urging baptism on other Friends led to intense conflict within the Ohio Yearly Meeting, which in 1885 refused to condemn him. Other Yearly Meetings called the 1887 Richmond Conference to unite against "Ordinances." Updegraff's last years were spent editing the Friends' Expositor to defend his doctrines and ensuring their toleration in the Ohio Yearly Meeting.


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