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CANFIELD, SHERMAN BOND

CANFIELD, SHERMAN BOND

CANFIELD, SHERMAN BOND (25 Dec. 1810-5 Mar. 1871), was the first pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church of Cleveland, later to become CHURCH OF THE COVENANT. Canfield was born in Chardon, Ohio, the son of Norman and Susannah Bond Canfield. He attended Western Reserve College, receiving his master's degree in 1838. Hamilton College conferred a Doctor of Divinity degree upon him in 1857. Canfield spent his career as a Presbyterian minister in Ohio and New York. His first pastorate (1839-41) was in OHIO CITY, and he followed his service at Second Presbyterian with a long tenure (1854-70) as a pastor in Syracuse, N.Y. Although not physically prepossessing, he was a powerful speaker.

The Second Presbyterian Church of Cleveland was organized around a membership largely derived from the Old Stone Church, with Canfield being the unanimous choice as pastor of the new congregation. He was astute enough to realize that limited pew space caused bruised feelings and church divisions in many of Cleveland's rapidly growing houses of worship, so he insisted that the new structure for Second Presbyterian be roomy enough to accommodate an increase in membership, resulting in one of the largest churches in the city. An ally of SAMUEL AIKEN in doctrinal matters, Canfield chaired an 1841 Cleveland Presbytery investigation into Chas. Finney's philosophy of Perfectionism (Oberlinism). On 4 July 1837, he performed the first marriage in CHAGRIN FALLS. Canfield married his first wife, Delia Slater, in 1836 and had a son, Sherman. In 1843 he married Sarah Winston White and had 2 children, Frederick and Edward.