Henry's grandfather had been pointed to the ministry, and had studied with Rev. Solomon Stoddard in Connecticut. But the
ministry didn't take and he returned home to marry Cornelia Beekman, herself the descendant of several ministers, one of them
being the Reverend Gerard Beekman, a distinguished theologian whose
services in translating the Bible were rewarded by King James of England.
The next member of Henry's family to look to the church for his profession was Henry's brother John Henry.
John Henry, like great-great grandfather John, had hoped for another career, in his case, the law. But like John, his path
led a different way. While listening to George Whitefield, one of the famous evangelists of the time, preach, John Henry
was caught by his telling the crowd that he felt a need to preach a particular sermon for a particular person. And John Henry felt
that he was that person. He also felt that he had an opportunity and a burden before him - the chance to reunite the
American and Dutch Reformed Church, which was breaking apart over the issue of ordination of ministers and language of service.