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 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 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, 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 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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Unitarian Universalism (UU) is a liberal religion characterized by a "free and responsible search for truth and meaning". Unitarian Universalists assert no creed, but instead are unified by their shared search for spiritual growth. As such, their congregations include many atheists, agnostics, and theists within their membership. The roots of Unitarian Universalism lie in liberal Christianity, specifically Unitarianism and universalism. Unitarian Universalists state that from these traditions comes a deep regard for intellectual freedom and inclusive love. Congregations and members seek inspiration and derive insight from all major world religions.
Hosea Ballou was an American Universalist clergyman and theological writer.
The General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches is the umbrella organisation for Unitarian, Free Christians and other liberal religious congregations in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It was formed in 1928, with denominational roots going back to the Great Ejection of 1662. Its headquarters building is Essex Hall in central London, on the site of the first avowedly Unitarian chapel in England, set up in 1774.
Reformed Baptists are Baptists that hold to a Calvinist soteriology. They can trace their history through the early modern Particular Baptists of England. The first Reformed Baptist church was formed in the 1630s. The 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith was written along Reformed Baptist lines.
Primitive Baptists – also known as Hard Shell Baptists or Old School Baptists – are conservative Baptists adhering to a degree of Calvinist beliefs that coalesced out of the controversy among Baptists in the early 19th century over the appropriateness of mission boards, tract societies, and temperance societies. The adjective "Primitive" in the name conveys the sense of "original".
John Murray was the founder of the Universalist denomination in the United States, a pioneer minister and an inspirational figure.
The Universalist Church of America was a Christian Universalist religious denomination in the United States. Known from 1866 as the Universalist General Convention, the name was changed to the Universalist Church of America in 1942. In 1961, it consolidated with the American Unitarian Association to form the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Rev. Dr. Charles Francis Potter was an American Unitarian minister, theologian, and author.
Lanoka Harbor is an unincorporated community located within Lacey Township, in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States.
Murray Grove is a Unitarian Universalist retreat and conference center in the Lanoka Harbor section of Lacey Township, New Jersey United States, traditionally considered the site where Universalism in America began. In 1770, Thomas Potter, an unlettered but inspired Universalist landowner living in what was then called Good Luck, New Jersey, encountered John Murray after Murray's vessel was grounded in nearby Barnegat Bay. Learning that Murray was both a Universalist and a preacher, Potter prevailed on him to preach the gospel of universal love in the meetinghouse Potter had built for that express purpose ten years earlier. Despite serious misgivings and initial resistance, Murray gave his first Universalist sermon on the North American continent on September 30, 1770. Taking the experience as a sign that God wanted him to dedicate his life to preaching Universalism, he went on to minister to the first Universalist congregation in the United States, in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and later to be centrally involved in the founding of the Universalist Church of America.
George Liele was an African American and emancipated slave who became the founding pastor of First Bryan Baptist Church and First African Baptist Church, in Savannah, Georgia (USA). He became the first American missionary, leaving in 1782 for Jamaica; this is thirty years before Adoniram Judson left for Burma. He became the first Baptist missionary in Jamaica.
Thomas Potter may refer to:
Christian universalism is a school of Christian theology focused around the doctrine of universal reconciliation – the view that all human beings will ultimately be "saved" and restored to a right relationship with God.
The Huntington Street Baptist Church is a historic Baptist Church meeting house at 29 Huntington Street in New London, Connecticut. Built in 1843, it is one of the last major examples of Greek Revival architecture to be built in the city. It also exemplifies a conflict between conservative and liberal Christian congregations, having been built by a Universalist congregation and then purchased by a competing Baptist one. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. As of 2017, the church is still in use as a Baptist house of worship.
Elhanan Winchester was one of the founders of the United States General Convention of Universalists, later the Universalist Church of America.
Richard Wright was an English Unitarian minister, and the itinerant missionary of the Unitarian Fund, a missionary society established in 1806.
William Vidler was an English nonconformist minister and editor, ultimately of universalist views.
The Unitarian Church of South Australia, Inc., is an independent and self-governed church affiliated with the worldwide Unitarian Universalist movement, a member of the Australia and New Zealand Unitarian Universalist Association, and an affiliate member of the Unitarian Universalist Association. It is a socially progressive and inclusive spiritual community, not covenanted by doctrine and dogma, but by liberal religious principles distilled from the essential values of all world religions, as well as the arts, humanities, and sciences.