Born near Wytheville, Wythe County, Virginia, January 6, 1807. His grandparents came from Scotland, in 1774, as members of the Mecklinberg Colony, and settled near Charlotte, North Carolina. His father, a Presbyterian elder, together with the his family, returned to North Carolina, in 1819. He received his early education in Charlotte, North Carolina, attended the High School of Christiansburgh, Virginia, and graduated from Greenvill College, Tennessee, in 1833. While at college, his outspoken condemnations of the institution of negro slavery would have prevented him from receiving a diploma, had not the President insisted that it would seriously injure the college to deny the degree to one whose scholarship was so high and satisfactorily attained. In the fall of 1833, he began the study of theology in the Presbyterian seminary of South Hanover, Indiana, and finished the course of study in the spring of 1836. He did not see his way clear to remain in the Presbyterian Church, and was received into the Associate Presbyterian Church, and licensed by the Muskegum Presbytery of that body, November 16, 1836. He was ordained by the Allegheny Presbytery, and installed pastor of the united congregations of Jefferson, Upper Piney and Cherry Run, Sligo, Clarion County, Pennsylvania, July 14, 1838. He resigned Jefferson and Upper Piney in 1841, and devoted himself to the Cherry Run congregation for nearly thirty years. He, and his congregation, refused to enter the United Presbyterian Church, at its founding, in 1858. He remained in the residuary Associate Presbyterian Church. Not being full satisfied with that Church on the subject of civil government, he was suspended for insubordination, by the Clarion Presbytery, September 11, 1867. After a full statement of his beliefs, he connected with the Reformed Presbyterian Church, being received by the Pittsburgh Presbytery, December 31, 1867. At the time of the taking of the Covenant of 1871, he became dissatified with the mode of procedure, and left the communion of that Church, May 1, 1873. He connected with the Reformed Presbytery, May 17, 1873, and was associated with David Steele until his death. His disease, from which he died, was a complicated paralysis, affecting both mind and body. He died at his home in Sligo, Clarion County, Pennsylvania, August 16, 1883.