Gideon Isaac Keirn was born in Columbia City, Indiana, on September 24, 1854. He graduated from Canton Theological School in New York State in 1879 and served Universalist churches in Mount Vernon, New York (1879-81), Fort Wayne, Indiana (1881-83), and Norwood, Massachusetts (1883-87). He then studied at Tufts College and received an AB in 1891. While serving the Universalist church in Charlestown, Massachusetts (1893-99), he was asked by his denomination to lead its Japan Mission. From 1899 to 1901, he preached, published tracts, and directed the mission's educational, welfare, and religious work from its headquarters in Tokyo. He then returned to the United States and served the Universalist church in Muncie, Indiana, from 1903 to 1909. Returning to Japan in 1909, he resumed his position in the mission and served until 1917. From 1918 until his death, on October 25, 1922, he served the United Liberal Church (Universalist and Unitarian) in Atlanta, Georgia.
For more information, see his obituary in Universalist Leader, Nov. 4, 1922, p. 19. [Photo: bMS 900/25 (5)]