John Wilbur Photo

John Wilbur

Born: Jul 17, 1774

Death: May 1, 1856

Birthplace: Hopkinton

Nationality: United States

John Wilbur

Date of Birth : Jul 17, 1774
Date of Death : May 1, 1856
Birth Place : Hopkinton

John Wilbur was a prominent American Quaker minister and religious thinker who was at the forefront of a controversy that led to "the second split" in the Religious Society of Friends in the United States. Wilbur was born to Quaker parents in Hopkinton, Rhode Island. Wilbur was recognized as an Elder in 1802 and acknowledged as a minister in 1812. Always intellectually inclined, Wilbur was the teacher of the local Friends school for many years. In 1822, Wilbur was appointed to an important committee of New England Friends to investigate the "new light" movement in Lynn, Massachusetts. He made a handful of travels in the ministry, for which he became known as an exponent of traditional Quakerism. In 1831, Wilbur went on his first trip to England and encountered a growing Evangelical thrust among the Friends there, which made him uneasy. Friends had already come through a schism a few years earlier involving Elias Hicks, who was disowned and started a new branch of Quakerism. Hicks had been teaching doctrines that are regarded as heretical by mainstream Christianity, basing his views on personal revelations from God.

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