Holloway Whitefield Hunt, who graduated from Princeton Seminary in 1822, had an “honorable and pious ancestry,” which included several relatives who were devoted pastors. His father was the Reverend Gardiner Augustine Hunt. His paternal grandfather (for whom Hunt’s Point, New York, was named) lost everything in the Wyoming Massacre of the Revolutionary War, when combined British and Iroquois forces attacked Wyoming Valley, burning houses, destroying crops, and capturing and killing many residents. After the massacre, his grandfather told one of his sons (Holloway’s uncle) to go and seek a life for himself, saying, “All I have to give you is a dollar, and to seek for you the blessing of God.” This son went off to become a Methodist minister and later attended the College of New Jersey (as Princeton University was then called). Holloway Whitefield Hunt was named after this uncle, and later went to live with him after his mother died when he was only thirteen years old. Hunt later studied at Brick Academy, where he discovered his own calling to ministry. He soon followed his uncle’s footsteps to the College of New Jersey and then to Princeton Theological Seminary in 1819.
Hunt was an enthusiastic student of Hebrew, and delighted in careful exegesis, which he kept as a spiritual practice throughout his life. During his lifetime, he served as a pastor in New York State and South Carolina, and also helped organize a new Presbyterian congregation in Newark, New Jersey. In 1928, he was called to a congregation in Metuchen, New Jersey, where he remained the longest, for the next eighteen years. Hunt’s “life-long habits were those of a theological student…. he never seemed to tire of the study and exposition of the word.” He continued to write sermons well into his late seventies and early eighties, “long after he had any expectation of preaching all the sermons he wrote.” Hunt served his congregation with care and devotion, preaching, teaching, and visiting church members in their homes. He was remembered by the community as “a man of warm heart, gentle, humble, prayerful, and greatly beloved.” He died at age 83, after serving as a faithful minister of the gospel for sixty years.