Nathanael Emmons, born in East Haddam, Connecticut on April 20, 1745, was a Congregational pastor and influential theologian in New England. He graduated from Yale in 1767 and, after studying under Reverend John Smalley in Berlin, Connecticut, was ordained in 1769. He spent four years preaching in New Hampshire and New York before arriving in what is now Franklin, Massachusetts in 1773. He served as pastor of the original Congregational Church for 54 years, from April 1773 to May 1827. Emmons was the founder and first president of the Massachusetts Missionary Society and helped to establish the Andover Theological Seminary.
Nathanael Emmons died in Franklin on September 23, 1840.