Theodore Ledyard Cuyler was born at Aurora, on Cayuga Lake, New York, in January 1822. His father died before he was five years old.
Cuyler graduated from Princeton University in 1841 and from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1846, then became a pastor in Burlington, New Jersey. From 1853 he exercised a successful ministry as pastor of the Market Street Dutch Reformed Church in New York City, leading to his installation in 1860 as the pastor of the Park Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, from which he oversaw the construction of the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church a block away, completed in 1862.
The newly constructed church, under Cuyler’s leadership, became the largest Presbyterian Church in the United States – during his pastorate he received 4,460 members into the church, about 2,000 of whom were on confession of faith. His circle of acquaintances included other noted preachers of the day, such as Horatius Bonar, Charles Spurgeon, D. L. Moody, and Charles G. Finney.
In April, 1890, he resigned his charge to enter upon a ministry at large. Henry Ward Beecher once said of him: ‘Theodore Cuyler writes the best religious articles of any man alive.’ Cuyler lost two of his children in infancy and a daughter at the age of twenty-one, such suffering divinely fitting him for the task of comforting others, in such books as God’s Light on Dark Clouds, published by the Trust.
Cuyler wrote an autobiography, Recollections of a Long Life, published in 1902. He died in February, 1909.
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