John Taylor Pressly was born in Abbeville District, South Carolina, March 28, 1795. He graduated from Transylvania University, Kentucky, in 1812 and then went on to study theology, in New York, under the highly esteemed John M. Mason. In 1815, he was licensed by the Second Presbytery of the Carolinas (Associate Reformed Presbyterian). In July, 1816, he was ordained as pastor of Cedar Springs, South Carolina A.R. Church. From 1825 to 1831, he was professor of theology in the Synod of the South. In 1831, he was elected to be professor of theology in the Synod of the West. From that time, until his death, August 13, 1870, he served as both pastor of First Church of Allegheny City as well as professor in the Allegheny Seminary, in Pennsylvania. He was himself highly esteemed by his brethren and was chosen to be the first moderator of the synod at the organization of the United Presbyterian Church, in 1858. Besides several published sermons and lectures, he was the author of a small work on baptism and another on psalmody.