Thomas DeWitt Talmage was born in New Jersey in 1882. He was the youngest of a family of twelve children. His parents were persons of pure Christian character, the fruits of whose judicious training were manifest in the conversion of DeWitt when eighteen years of age.
He received his literary training in the University of New York, and afterward graduated from the theological school at New Brunswick, N. J.
The first three years of his ministerial career were spent in Belleville, N. J., from whence he was called to Syracuse, N. T. After laboring here three years, he went to Philadelphia, where he remained seven years, during which time he earned a high place among the preachers of that city.
His congregations were large, and his church rapidly increased in membership until it became widely known as the popular church of the city. Many large and important congregations were now extending calls to him.
He accepted a call from the Central Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, then in a state of decline, in preference to others, because he saw in Brooklyn an opportunity to build up a free church.
At the end of a year and a half the old edifice could no longer accommodate the congregations, and a tabernacle was built, and dedicated in September, 1870.
This building which originally was designed to seat 3,000 persons, was enlarged a few months later. Just before the hour of service, December 22, 1872, the tabernacle was burned. In a few minutes, several churches were offered to the congregation for occupancy until their own house could be restored.
The Academy of Music was engaged until a still larger structure, which still stands, was built to take the place of the old.
This building has been recently enlarged until it now accommodates nearly 6,000 persons. The tabernacle is crowded at every service. Besides the regular congregation, Dr. Talmage preaches to several millions through the press of the United States, Europe and Australia, which publishes his sermons regularly.
The published works of Dr. T aim age, which are numerous, have met with an immense sale. He is also in great demand as a lecturer, but makes all other things subordinate to his ministerial work.
Personally, he is one of the most modest and unassuming of men. His appearance is not all clerical, but more resembles a prosperous business man. He is of pleasant address and sociable disposition. He is not only a preacher among preachers, but a man among men.