Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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FOSTER, Randolph Sinks, clergyman, born in Williamsburg, Ohio, 22 February 1820. He was educated at Augusta College, Kentucky, and in 1837 entered the itinerant ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the Kentucky conference, was transferred soon afterward to the Ohio conference, and in 1850 to New York. From 1837 till 1850 he was pastor of Churches in Hillsboro, Portsmouth, Lancaster, Springfield, and Cincinnati, and from 1850 till 1857 in New York and Brooklyn. In 1856 he was elected president of the Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.; but three years later he resumed the pastorate, and was stationed in New York and Sing Sing. The general conference of 1868 appointed him delegate to the British Wesleyan conference, and in the same year he was elected professor of systematic theology in Drew theological seminary, Madison, N.J. In 1870 he was appointed president of this institution, retaining the chair of theology. He was a delegate to the general conferences of 1864, 1868, and 1872.
In May 1872, he was elected bishop of the M. E. Church, and soon afterward was chosen to make Episcopal visitations in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, India, and South America. He subsequently resided in Cincinnati, Ohio, and in Boston, Massachusetts. He has published "Objections to Calvinism as it is," a polemical work, which grew out of a controversy (Cincinnati, 1849); "Christian Purity" (New York, 1851; revised ed., 1869); "Ministry for the Times" (1852); and "Theism," in the " Ingham Lectures" (1872). He is also the author of "Beyond the Grave," in which he discusses with force and freedom profound questions in Christian eschatology (1879); "Centenary Thoughts for the Pulpit and the Pew of Methodism" (1884); and " Studies in Theology" (1886).
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