The Reverend Daniel Nash
Many devoted men and women in the history of the Albany Diocese have worked to spread the Gospel and build up the Church. One such person was Daniel Nash. Born in Gt. Barrington, Massachusetts in 1763, he graduated from Yale University, became a teacher, joined the Episcopal Church, and studied for ordination. In the 1790's, he moved to New Lebanon, NY, taught school and became a lay leader in the Church. While there, he met Miss Olive Lusk, who later became his wife and partner in missionary work.
Traveling to the "wilds" of Otsego County, they lived in various one room cabins built of unhewn logs, with scarcely a pane of glass to let in light sufficient to read the Bible. Sunday mornings, he, Olive and child would make the trek to Exeter and Morris for services. Fr. Nash officiated and preached, and Olive led the responses and singing.
On October 11 1801, Daniel Nash was ordained to the priesthood by the Rt. Rev. Benjamin Moore, the newly consecrated Bishop of New York. The Bishop reflected upon this event and wrote " Yesterday I ordained Fr. Nash a priest; and it affords me no little satisfaction to reflect that the first act of my Episcopal function has been employed in elevating to the priesthood so worthy a man."
Fr. Nash's ministry was marked by great devotion and energy, going from home to home, catechizing, teaching, and baptizing whole families. He preached to the Oneida Indians, and was loved by children. From 1804 to 1816, when the area was still wilderness, Nash reported 496 baptisms, and organized or founded at least 12 parishes in the Diocese of Albany.
On June 4 1837, Fr. Nash died, having left these words "Say, if you please, that I die in the faith of the Son of God. Of myself I am nothing. I trust alone in the merit and death of a crucified savior for pardon and acceptance. " He was laid to rest beside his beloved wife Olive who died 20 years earlier.
The Diocese of Albany commemorates the feast of Blessed Daniel Nash on June 4, for his faithful witness and work for our Lord Jesus Christ as an example of mission and the building up of the Church today!
O God, you called your servant Daniel Nash to the hills and valleys of a new frontier to preach the Gospel and build your Church. Grant that your Church in this and every generation may be filled with zeal for the Gospel of your Son Jesus Christ, and a willingness to serve all people in His Name; this we ask through Him who, with You and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns now and forever. Amen
- A Collect for the Commemoration of Daniel Nash, Missionary June 4
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