Jehu Curtis Clay served twice as an assistant to Nils Collin, and succeeded him in 1831. Clay was Gloria Dei’s pastor during some of the most difficult times in the history of the United States: the sectional controversy of the 1850’s, and the first years of the Civil War. He also guided the congregation through an era of impressive growth and fundamental change. The sexton’s house and the present rectory were both constructed in the 1830’s. In the 1840’s, the annex churches at Kingsessing and Upper Merion separated from Gloria Dei, and all three joined the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. Gloria Dei was renovated extensively, a necessity for a congregation that outgrew its church building.
Balconies were added in 1846 – it was that or build a new church. Jenny Lind, the toast of two continents, sang from the new balcony in 1850. The church was also heated centrally for the first time and acquired the modern convenience of gas service in 1853. In the years just after Clay’s death in 1863, the church continued to grow with the addition of the present parish hall (1864) and a schoolhouse (1868).
Rev. Jehu C. & Simmons Clay
Born Nov’r 6th A.D. 1829
Died Feby 26th A.D. 1837
The Rev Jehu Curtis Clay, D.D.
Rector of Gloria Dei Church
from A.D. 1832 to A.D. 1863
Born Feby 3rd A.D. 1792
Died Oct. 20th A.D. 1863
He rests from his labors
and his works do follow him.
Inscription (on plaque inside church):
32 years Rector of this church
In the adjoining cemetery are buried the remains of the
Reverend Jehu Curtis Clay D. D.
He was born on the 3rd of February a. d. 1792,
and died on the 20th of October a. D. 1863.
He was a man of lofty virtues
a christian of exemplory holiness
a priest of unsurpassed fidelity.
His congregation have here placed this stone to tell of their admiration,
their reverence, and their sorrowing love.
“He was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost
and of faith” Acts. Chap. XI v. 24
Type of Marker: Ledger Stone
Date of Marker (estimate): 1837
Issues: Biogrowth, sugaring
Recommended Treatment: Cleaning w/biocide, consolidation
Historic Integrity: Intact
Structural Integrity: Excellent
Material Integrity: Good
Legible Inscription: Good
Inventory Number: 129
Historic Number: 351
Ledger Book Number: 166 (marker); no number (plaque)
Cemetery Section: 5
Marker Height/Length (in): 82
Marker Width (in): 33
Marker Thickness/Depth (in): 5