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Thomas Gillespie

1708-1774. Scottish minister. Trained under Philip Doddridge at Northampton, friend of Jonathan Edwards, and minister of the country parish of Carnock in Fife, he was deposed by the Church of Scotland general assembly in 1752 for refusing to take part in a “forced settlement” at Inverkeithing. Supported by the large congregation that built his Dunfermline church, he stood alone for nine years, being then joined by two other ministers, one of them Thomas Boston's son. Passing into history as the founder of the Relief denomination, Gillespie sponsored the first Presbyterian body in Scotland to espouse the cause of foreign missions, and to open its pulpits to all ministers of Christ and its communion table to all believers. “The Relief” joined with “the Secession” in 1847 to form the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland.

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