T. DeWitt Talmage was born January 7, 1832 at Middle Brook, New Jersey. He was the youngest of eleven children. Dr. Talmage was one of four sons called to preach the gospel.
At the age of nineteen Talmage entered the University of the City of New York. He then went to the New Brunswick Seminary of the Dutch Reformed Church. On July 26, 1856 Talmage was ordained and installed as pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church at Belleville, New Jersey, near Newark. In 1859 he was called to a Dutch Reformed Church in Syracuse, New York. It was there that he began to get attention for the style and content of his sermons.
In March of 1869 he was called as pastor for the Presbytery of Brooklyn. In a short time the congregations were so large that the church was not able to accommodate the people. His last but more famous church was the First Presbyterian Church of Washington. After four years as pastor in Washington he resigned his charge in 1899 and until his death in 1902 gave himself to lecturing, preaching, and editorial work. He died April 12, 1902.