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Nathaniel Colver was born on May 10, 1874 and lived in Champlain, New York; his family was one of thirteen families to reside there at the time. He was born into a Christian home and spent the vast majority of his youth learning to read from three books: The Bible, a Psalm book, and a spelling book. At the age of 18, he fought in the War of 1812 and afterwards returned to cobbling shoes and "thinking about religion."

In 1819, Mr. Colver was asked to attend a prayer meeting at a church in West Stockbridge that was without a pastor. Upon arriving, one of the deacons announced that Nathaniel would be preaching that night. Colver informed the deacon that he was not a preacher, and the deacon handed him a text, "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." The deacon then informed him that he was a preacher "now." After that meeting, the deacon board announced that Nathaniel would be preaching again at the school house in a matter of minutes.

Colver's account of the event says "I felt I belonged to God, no longer to myself, and that henceforth I would think only of God and God's cause, and leave Him to take care of Nathaniel Colver."

Thus the ministry of Nathaniel Colver began. He went on to serve as a Baptist pastor in Ogdensburg, Gouverneur, and in "that desolate outpost, Malone."

But his pastoral ministry was not the most influential aspect of his life. The legacy that continues began when he served at Hamilton Theological and Literary Institution, which is now...

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