Henry Van Dyke was born in Abingdon, Pennsylvania, on March 2, 1822. Following his graduation from the University of Pennsylvania in 1843, he attended the Princeton Theological Seminary. He served as a Presbyterian minister in New Jersey from 1845-52, in Germantown, Pennsylvania, from 1852-53, and then at 1st Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, New York. He earned a D.D. from the University of Missouri in 1860. Van Dyke was active in the movement to reunite the sectional branches of the Presbyterian churches after the Civil War. In 1876, Van Dyke was elected as moderator of the General Assembly in Brooklyn. Henry Jackson Van Dyke died in May 25, 1891.