In 1842 Reverend James Harvey Johnston came to Crawfordsville, Indiana to be the pastor of the New School Presbyterian Church (in 1876 it became Center Church). He served there over 30 years and he was the principal of the Crawfordsville Female Seminary; it was recorded in the Crawfordsville Weekly Review on 11 March 1876 that during his tutelage, "many ladies from the West and South received their educational training" and the school became very prosperous. Also written, "Disease was not the immediate cause of Father Johnston's death. He had worn his life out in the service of the Master: he had 'finished the fight.'" Serving as a Wabash College trustee for 36 years also allowed Johnston to be a courageous leader and shining light in the community.