Biography of Rev. O. P. Gifford


Gifford, Rev. O. P., D. D., pastor of the Delaware Avenue Baptist church of Buffalo, was born in Montague, Mass., Aprii 15, 1847. and spent his boyhood at Shelburne, in his native State. When eighteen years of age he entered a commercial house in New York city, but soon felt an inclination to the ministry, and in 1870 entered Brown University, from which he was graduated in 1874. He then entered the Baptist Theological Seminary at Rochester. N. Y., and was graduated in 1877, after which he was ordained pastor of the First Baptist church of Pittsfield, Mass. During his theological course his services as a preacher were constantly sought In 1879 he became pastor of the Warren Avenue Baptist church in Boston, where he won considerable fame as an able and fearless sermonizer and writer. During this pastorate he published a volume of his sermons. His next field was in Brookline, Mass.; from there he went to Chicago, where he succeeded Dr. Lorimer, the founder and first pastor of the Immanuel Baptist chnrch, and there his power for good was felt beyond the bounds of his own denomination. Mr. Stead, in his famous book, "If Christ came to Chicago," frequently refers to Mr. Gifford as a terror to evil and a staunch supporter of all that is worthy. Mr. Gifford was one of the organizers and chairman on morals of the Chicago Civic Federation, and was prominently identified with the anti-sweatshop and other public movements. In 1894 he came to Buffalo as pastor of the Delaware Avenue Baptist church, one of the largest and handsomest edifices in the Queen city, which was built in 1895 at a cost, exclusive of the site, of about $120,000. It is of Medina sandstone, will seat 1,200 people, and was opened for worship December 15, 1895. Mr. Gifford ranks high among the leading clergymen of Western New York. His sermons are models of good English, direct and practical discussion, and clear thinking, and are often widely circulated.

Our County and its people
A descriptive work on Erie County, New York
Edited by: Truman C. White
The Boston History Company, Publishes 1898


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