Samuel Provoost (1742-1815) was born into a Huguenot family that settled in New York in 1683. His father, John Provoost, was a wealthy merchant and a governor of King's College. Samuel Provoost was sent to England for his education and was ordained to the order of deacon in King's Chapel, Whitehall in 1766. He married Maria Bousfield, the daughter of a wealthy Irish banker, and they settled in lower Manhattan and became members of Trinity Church.
Provoost was an ardent patriot and in 1774 he severed his connection with Trinity Church because of their Loyalist stance. During the Revolution, he moved to a small estate in Columbia County and he occasionally preached in local churches. After the Colonies gained their independence and the British evacuated New York, Provoost was unanimously elected rector of Trinity Church in 1784. A year later, he was chosen to be the chaplain of the Continental Congress and in 1786 he was elected first Bishop of New York and Chaplain of the United States Senate. Bishop Provoost is most famous for presiding over the service that followed George Washington's inauguration in 1790.