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Rev. Duncan Dunbar
The Baptist Encyclopedia, 1881

     Rev. Duncan Dunbar was born in the northern Highlands of Scotland about the year 1791. The days of his childhood and early youth were spent among the scenes of his birth upon the banks of the Spey. The Highland costume and customs prevailed in this region in Mr. Dunbar's boyhood, and the old Gaelic was still the language of the household. At the age of nineteen his serious attention was directed to the concerns of his soul. After a period of several months, during which he was the subject of deep convictions, he obtained peace through the blood of the Lamb. After his conversion he removed to Aberdeen and engaged in business, and shortly afterwards married Miss Christina Mitchel, a lady of a gentle, loving dispostion, and of deep, earnest piety. For several years Mr. Dunbar remained in Aberdeen, active and zealous in the cause of Christ, and preaching as a layman when opportunity offered. In 1817 he removed to America, and settled in the province of New Brunswick. Though not yet ordained, he felt constrained to preach the gospel. His labors in this field were incessant, and characterized by the same zeal and love for souls that marked his life ministry. After his conversion for a considerable period he was greatly exercised upon the Scriptural mode and subjects of baptism. At length his mind found rest in the adoption of believer's baptism, and he was immersed by the Rev. Mr. Griffis, of St. John, in the harbor of that city, Oct. 31, 1818. He was ordained at that time, or immediately after. Mr. Dunbar removed to the United States in December, 1823, and became pastor of the Baptist church at Nobleborough, Maine. June 10, 1828, he accepted a call to the Vandam Street, subsequently called the McDougal Street, church, New York City. This settlement was the entrance into a great field of usefulness, and his pastorate with the McDougal Street church was the most important ministerial work of his life. In 1844 he removed to South Boston. After a pastorate of two years he returned to his church in New York, and remained with them until 1850, when he accepted a call to the Second church of Philadelphia. During his stay of two years with this church a large number of converts were added to it, many of whom lived to become useful and zealous Christians. In August, 1853, Mr. Dunbar ministered to the church at Trenton, N. J. After a service of fifteen months he returned to his old home with the McDougal Street church, and remained until the close of his earthly ministry.

     As a man, Duncan Dunbar was remarkable for great kindness of heart, and manifested continually warm and practical sympathy for the distressed of every condition. As a preacher of the gospel he was energetic, earnest, and full of spiritual life. He was pre-eminently a man of prayer, and his long service in the ministry had abundant evidence of the blessing of God. He died July 28, 1864.


[William Cathcart, editor, The Baptist Encyclopedia, 1881; reprint, 1988, pp. 346-347. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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