Born into slavery as the illegitimate child of Jane, the bi-racial slave of David Johnston, James Murphy was condemned to a life of secrecy during an age when being of African descent meant a life of persecution and discrimination. When James Murphy was eventually manumitted at the death of his master David Johnston at the age of 21, he sought to change his destiny and leave his meager beginnings for a life of service to God. Although he became Reverend Murphy after attending the New Brunswick Seminary, Anne DeWitt Bevier, along with two other members of the congregation began to suspect Murphy's parentage, and how that may have affected his connection with Christian values. Armed with the eye of Christian examination, Anne Bevier began to uncover the Reverend Murphy's secret, eventually forcing him to seek a community of people who didn't know of his Hidden Heritage.