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Scots and Scots Descendant in America
Part V - Biographies
Rev. William Douglas Mackenzie, D.D., LL.D.


WILLIAM DOUGLAS MACKENZIE was born July 16, 1859, in Fauresmith, Orange River Colony, South Africa. His father, John M. Mackenzie, had gone out to South Africa in 1858 with a band of young missionaries who were under appointment to meet David Livingston at some point on the Zambesi River, after his first great journey across Africa had made him famous throughout the world. After several years of life in a wagon, the family settled at Shoshong, in North Bechuanaland. In 1869, the boy was brought home to live with his mother’s family in Portobello, Edinburgh. He was educated at George Watson’s School and the University of Edinburgh, graduating from the former in 1875. and receiving the degree of M.A. from the latter in 1881, taking First-Class Honours in the Department of Philosophy. Later, he studied at the Universities of Gottingen and Marburg. He has received the degree of D.D. from Beloit College, 1896; Wesleyan University, 1906; Yale, 1907; University of Edinburgh, 1910; Knox College, Toronto, 1915; and the degree of LL.D. from Princeton, 1906. He was ordained to the Congregational ministry in 1882, and from that date to 1889 was pastor of the Congregational Church in Montrose. From 1889 to 1894, he was pastor of the Congregational Church at Morningside. While still at Montrose he was made Editor of the Scottish Congregationalist, and continued in that office until he came to America. In 1894, the union of the Congregational Union of Scotland with the Evangelical Union of Scotland was being consummated, and as he had had a leading part in the forming of that union he was elected Chairman of the Congregational Union, and presided with Dr. Fergus Ferguson, of Glasgow, over the first formal meeting. In 1895, having declined several cells to churches in England, and the offer of an editorship in London, he accepted the invitation to be Professor of Systematic Theology in Chicago Theological Seminary, where he remained until 1903. Being in very close association with William R. Harper, he was one of the original Committee which established the Religious Education Association, and was made a member of its Executive Board. In 1903, he was called to be President and Professor of Systematic Theology in the Hartford Theological Seminary. The following year he was made President of the Hartford School of Religious Pedagogy. In 1913, the Hartford Theological Seminary, the School of Religious Pedagogy and the newly-formed Kennedy School of Missions were united under the name of The Hartford Seminary Foundation, under the presidency of Dr. Mackenzie. In 1883, he married Alice, daughter of the late Thomas Bates Crowther, of Harraby Green, England. He has a son, Ian Douglas, and a daughter, Marjorie Douglas. He is a member of the St. Andrew’s Society of the State of New York, Chairman of the Board of Missionary Preparation, a member of the International Committee of the Y. M. C. A., a member of the International Sunday-School Lesson Committee, and other important organizations. His publications are as follows: The Ethics of Gambling, 1893; The Revelation of the Christ, 1896; Christianity and the Progress of Man, 1897; South Africa—Its History, Heroes and Wars, 1900; John Mackenzie, South African Missionary and Statesman, 1902; The Final Faith, 1910; Galatians and Romans (in Westminister N. T.), 1912; article on Jesus Christ in Hastings’ Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, 1914.


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