John Hepburn

1649-1723. Scottish minister. Brought up an Episcopalian, this turbulent son of a Morayshire farmer became one of the most contentious ministers Scottish Presbyterianism has known. Ultimately hailed as “The Morning Star of the Secession,” and ordained while an exile in London, he was for some thirty-six years minister of the parish of Urr in Galloway without ever having been formally elected or inducted, and despite admonition, suspension, banishment, imprisonment, and deposition at the hands of the ecclesiastical authorities. Ranging over wide tracts of country-preaching, marrying, baptizing-he gathered several thousand followers. These Hebronites, as they came to be known, after taking part in Scotland's first agrarian rebellion, formed the nucleus of many Secession churches once that movement had taken shape under Ebenezer Erskine.*