Nils Collin, the Swedish pastor who served Gloria Dei from 1784 to 1831, was a close friend of the eminent Benjamin Franklin. In fact, the remains of an early lightening rod (which is visible on the church's exterior) are reputedly a result of this friendship. Collin seemed to remain neutral during the Revolutionary War, although he was accused by both Americans and the British of siding with the enemy.
Collin, however, insisted that his loyalties remained with the King of Sweden. The extensive writings of this interesting figure are a part of Gloria Dei's archives, and Nils Collin is buried under the floor of the church.