Jervis Sharp Zimmerman was born in Harvey, Illinois in 1922. He graduated from the University of Illinois with High Honors in English and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Thereafter he prepared for the Christian ministry at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and was ordained in 1945 by the Presbytery of Chicago. He subsequently earned a Master’s degree in counseling psychology at the University of Chicago. In 1953, after studying at Berkeley Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut he was ordained deacon and priest by the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut in which he continues serving. From 1954 to l967 he was Rector of Christ Church, West Haven, Connecticut where Oliver Prescott served in l866 and l867. It was this fact which sparked the author’s interest in Prescott which led to this biography.
Prescott was an early and ardent advocate for the Catholic revival in the Episcopal Church. As a priest he was in constant difficulty with his bishop, both for his doctrine and his liturgical usage. With his protégé, Charles Grafton, he was an early member of the Society of St.John the Evangelist, the first modern monastic community for men in the Church of England.