Thomas Dewitt Talmadge was born at Bound Brook, N.J. A one-time chaplain in the Union Army, he was converted at age 18. He graduated from New Brunswick Seminary at 24, and was ordained and installed in his first church. In 1869, he was installed as pastor of the Central Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, N.Y. It was a small church, which met in a large building; but within three months that was too small for the attendance. Jealous of the prosperity of this ministry, preachers in the area began spreading rumors about him, and the newspapers picked up the story. Sunday mornings, reporters from the large newspapers in the area gathered in expectation that Dr. Talmage would answer the slander--which would have made headlines. Talmage never said a word in reply. Failing to get the sensational news story, they took down his sermons and they were printed word-for-word in the newspapers. Thus the Lord turned the falsehoods and persecution into a promotion for the Gospel! His Bible-centered sermons were read by 25,000,000 people around the world as a result of Satan's effort to still his voice! His church burned down three times.