1753 - 1833

Lemuel Haynes is known as a fiery, well-educated, loved pastor of several all white New England churches.  But few know that he was also a Revolutionary War hero.

Haynes was born July 19, 1753, the son of a slave on a Connecticut plantation.  He was abandoned by his parents at birth, and he was assigned as an indentured servant to Deacon David Rose of Granville, Massachusetts.  Indentured, meaning that he had to work for Rose until he had paid the cost of his upbringing.  Rose and his wife loved Lemuel, and treated him as their own son.  Every Saturday night in the rose home, the family gathered around, and would read a sermon published by one of the area pastors.  Lemuel took his turn reading, and after much time had passed, finally admitted that he, himself, had written the sermons he was reading.

When Haynes had finished his education at age 21, he joined the well-known militia called the Minutemen.  Later he was sent to become part of the Green Mountain Boys of Vermont - the Green Berets of that day.  He was one of three African-Americans with that organization.  Near the end of the Revolutionary War he was assigned to George Washikngton's forces, and fought in the Battle of Yorktown, in Virginia, where the British finally surrendered.

After the war, he returned to Massachusetts where he went to seminary, graduated, and received his license to preach for the Congregational Church.  His first assignment, in 1780, was to an all-white congregation in Middle Granville, Massachusetts.  In 1785, an all-white congregation in Rutland, Vermont called him to be their pastor.  He accepted, and remained there till 1818.  It was during this pastorate, in 1804, that he received his Masters degree from Middlebury College; only the fourth degree of any kind the college had awarded an African-American.

From Rutland, Haynes moved to a church in Manchester, Vermont, where he stayed for three years; then moved to pastor a church in South Granville, New York for the last eleven years of his life.  He died at the age of 80 in South Granville; where in 1967 his home was historically restored, and is now a museum.

Lemuel Haynes was so impressed by, and so loved his military commander, General George Washington, that each year on Washington's birthday, he would preach a sermon about Washington, outlining the man of God that the general (then President) was, and the holy life he lived.

Lemuel Haynes - 1753 - 1833 - born more than 100 years before the Civil War.  Accepted as an equal, and even a superior, by the white population he pastored.

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