Thomas Potter (Universalist)

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Thomas Potter (1689–1777) was an illiterate farmer who in 1760 built a chapel in Good Luck, New Jersey (now Lacey Township), for the purpose of spreading the doctrine of Universalism.

New Jersey State of the United States of America

New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the Northeastern United States. It is a peninsula, bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, particularly along the extent of the length of New York City on its western edge; on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the Delaware River and Pennsylvania; and on the southwest by the Delaware Bay and Delaware. New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by area but the 11th-most populous, with 9 million residents as of 2017, and the most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states; its biggest city is Newark. New Jersey lies completely within the combined statistical areas of New York City and Philadelphia and was the second-wealthiest U.S. state by median household income as of 2017.

Lacey Township, New Jersey Township in New Jersey, United States

Lacey Township is a township in Ocean County, New Jersey and is considered part of the Jersey Shore and South Jersey regions. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 27,644, reflecting an increase of 2,298 (+9.1%) from the 25,346 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 3,205 (+14.5%) from the 22,141 counted in the 1990 Census. The 2010 population was the highest recorded in any decennial census. It was named for Continental Army General John Lacey.

Universalism is a philosophical and theological concept that some ideas have universal application or applicability. A community that calls itself universalist may emphasize the universal principles of most religions, and accept others in an inclusive manner. It is centered on the belief in a universal reconciliation between humanity and the divine. For example, some forms of Abrahamic religions claim the universal value of their doctrine and moral principles, and "feel inclusive"


He was born in 1689, the son of Rogerene Baptist immigrants from Rhode Island. Influenced by both Quaker and Baptist beliefs, Potter, as a Universalist, let people of all creeds worship on his land, but was convinced that God would send him a preacher of Universalism. In 1770, a Universalist preacher named John Murray did in fact appear, and was prevailed upon by Potter to give his first Universalist sermon on the American continent. Murray then went on to become the minister of the first Universalist congregation in America, located in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and to be a central figure in the creation of the Universalist Church in America, in 1793. Potter died not long after Murray departed, probably in 1777 (the year in which his will was probated), but is considered to have been one of the founders of the Universalist movement. Universalists began coming on pilgrimage to the site of his chapel, where in the 1870s they built the Potter Memorial Chapel, and in 1886 created Murray Grove as a center of Universalism. Today Murray Grove is still a Unitarian Universalist retreat and conference center, celebrating the heritage of Potter, Murray and the early Universalists.

The Rogerenes were a religious sect founded in 1674 by John Rogers (1648–1721) in New London, Connecticut. Rogers was imprisoned and spent some years there. He was influenced by the Seventh Day Baptists and the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and opposed the Established Puritan church. Rogerenes initially held to a Seventh Day (Saturday) Sabbath, but over the years began to regard each day as equally holy. Their disdain for Sunday worship often brought them into sharp conflict with their neighbors. Increasingly they adopted a Pacifist stance, including war tax resistance, which further brought them the ridicule of the larger community. Some of the Rogerenes left Connecticut and migrated to New Jersey settling in parts of present-day Morris County. One such group settled in what is now the Landing section of Roxbury Township, New Jersey near Lake Rogerine, then known as Mountain Pond in about 1700. Another smaller group of Rogerenes in about 1734 settled on the eastern side of Schooley's Mountain near present-day Hackettstown, New Jersey.

Rhode Island State of the United States of America

Rhode Island, officially the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest state in area, the seventh least populous, and the second most densely populated, but it has the longest official name of any state. Rhode Island is bordered by Connecticut to the west, Massachusetts to the north and east, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south via Rhode Island Sound and Block Island Sound. It also shares a small maritime border with New York. Providence is the state capital and most populous city in Rhode Island.

Baptists denomination of Protestant Christianity

Baptists are Christians distinguished by baptizing professing believers only, and doing so by complete immersion. Baptist churches also generally subscribe to the tenets of soul competency/liberty, salvation through faith alone, scripture alone as the rule of faith and practice, and the autonomy of the local congregation. Baptists generally recognize two ordinances: baptism and the Lord's supper.

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Thomas Potter may refer to:

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