Archived Services

September 29, 2019: “A Religious Leader Who was Expected: The Origins of Universalism”

Sunday, Septemeber 29 10AM Rev. Dr. Barbara Coeyman

We celebrate September 30, 1770 as the date of the first sermon on Universalism in the American colonies. The sermon was preached by John Murray, who unexpectedly landed on the New Jersey coastline and met Thomas Potter, homespun farmer who promoted the heresy of Universalism in the meeting house he built in the woods not far from Murray’s landing. Fleeing personal loss in his home in England, Murray was a surprising candidate to found the new American denomination of Universalism, but according to our origins story he was just the preacher Thomas Potter was expexting. Let’s consider how expectations of new religious leadership align with the unfolding of that ministry.

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