Ollin Heber Neale was born in Southington, Connecticut, on February 23, 1808. He graduated from Columbian College in Washington, D.C., in 1830. While he was in college, he was ordained as pastor of the Second Baptist Church and preached there during his junior and senior years of college. Upon graduating, Neale was called to the First Baptist Church of Boston where he served for nearly forty years.
First Baptist Church experienced tremendous harmony during Neale’s four decades of leadership. Neale was given an honorary Doctor of Divinity by both Brown University in 1850 and by Harvard College in 1857.
Neale’s sermons have been described as the “outgushings of a warm, sympathizing heart.” He was known for his eloquence and God’s evident hand upon his preaching.
Neale was very interested in what was going on politically in the country. He did not hesitate to address the moral questions that troubled America during this era. While he was kind, his stance for that which was right and difficult impacted his community for Christ.
Neale, still in Boston where he had lived for many years, went home to be with the Lord in 1879.