Thomas Kelly was born in County queens, Ireland. Son of an Irish judge, he was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, intending to follow in the legal profession like his father. However, deep spiritual impressions, changed his mind and he was ordained in 1792. As an Episcopal clergyman, he wrote hymns among which was "Praise the Savior, ye who Know Him." His fervent, evangelical preaching brought him into disfavor with his archbishop, who prohibited him from further preaching. So Kelly established an independent sect. A thorough scholar, he was well-versed in oriental languages.
William Elbert Munsey was born in Bland County Virginia. Early in life, he helped his father eke out a living on the old farm. But when he was twelve, his father died, and he assumed the responsibility of providing for his mother and five younger brothers. Converted at 17, he became a preacher. With only one year of formal study, much of it at the plow, he became one of the most powerful Methodist preachers of the South. He was such a genius at painting word pictures that his audience would actually rise and stand through two-hour sermons so as not to miss a word he uttered.