Henry Sloane Coffin

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Person.png Henry Sloane Coffin  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
HenrySloaneCoffin-TIMEcover 400.jpg
BornJanuary 5, 1877
New York City
DiedNovember 25, 1954 (Age 77)
Lakeville, Connecticut
Alma materYale College, Union Theological Seminary
SpouseDorothy Eells
Member ofCentury Group, Skull and Bones
leading liberal Presbyterian leader. Bonesman.

Henry Sloane Coffin was president of the Union Theological Seminary, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, and one of the most famous ministers in the United States. He was a member of Skull and Bones.

Early Life

Coffin was the son of Edmund Coffin and Euphemia Sloane. He was an heir to the fortune of the furniture firm of W. and J. Sloane & Co. His brother was William Sloane Coffin, who was later the president of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Coffin attended Yale College and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in 1897. In 1896, he was one of fifteen juniors invited to join the Skull and Bones. He then received his master's degree from Yale in 1900.

During his time at Yale, Coffin was on friendly terms with evangelist Dwight L. Moody, who devoted considerable attention to Coffin during his famous Northfield Conferences in Massachusetts. In spite of Moody's influence, Coffin would emerge as a leading theological liberal.

Coffin also obtained his Bachelor of Divinity from the Union Theological Seminary in 1900. He then became pastor of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City in 1910. He declined an offer to become president of Union Theological Seminary in 1916. In 1917, he became Chairman of the Committee of the Board of Home Missions. In 1926, offered the presidency of Union a second time, he accepted and retained the post until 1945.

Coffin was married to Dorothy Eells. He was the uncle of William Sloane Coffin, and a member of the Yale Corporation (1921–45).

Henry Sloane Coffin died in 1954 at age 77 and was interred at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, NY.


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