John Price Durbin, D. D., an American clergyman, born in Bourbon co., Ky., in 1800. At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to a cabinet maker, and a few years later entered the itinerant ministry of the Methodist church. He studied at Miami university while preaching at Hamilton, Ohio, graduated at Cincinnati college, and soon afterward was appointed professor of languages in Augusta college, Ky. In 1831 he was elected chaplain of the United States senate, and in 1832 became editor of the "Christian Advocate and Journal." In 1834 he was elected president of Dickinson college at Carlisle, Pa., and during his incumbency made an extensive tour of observation in Europe and the East. As member of the general conference of 1844 he was a prominent actor in the great contest on slavery which divided the church. Retiring from his office in 1845, he was pastor of churches in Philadelphia, and was also presiding elder of the Philadelphia district. He was secretary of the missionary society from 1850 to 1872, when he retired in consequence of physical infirmity.
To his labors is largely due the establishment of missions in India, Bulgaria, western and northern Europe, and many parts of the United States, and the reinvigoration of those in China and elsewhere; while through his plans the annual contributions have increased from $100,000 to $600,000. In 1867 he again visited Europe in the interest of missions. Besides numerous contributions to periodical literature, Dr. Durbin has published "Observations in Europe, principally in France and Great Britain" (2 vols. 12mo, New York, 1844), and "Observations in Egypt, Palestine, Syria, and Asia Minor" (2 vols. 12mo, 1845).