Church Lays Corner Stone In New Hampshire
As Protestantism grew is Europe, different spiritual communities struggled with concepts of the established Catholic Church. On of these was the concept of the Trinity as opposed to one God. In January 1556 Peter Gonesius spoke out against the doctrine of the Trinity. Followers existed as a fringe group and they were ordered to convert to Roman Catholicism or leave Poland in 1658. Most of them went to Transylvania where they joined a “Unitarian” church founded in 1566. The movement gained popularity in England in the wake of the Enlightenment and began to become a formal denomination in 1774. The first Unitarian congregation in America was by King’s Chapel in Boston which revised the Prayer Book into a mild Unitarian liturgy in 1785. Harvard Divinity school shifted from its conservative roots to teach Unitarian theology in 1805.
Universalism believe that a God of love would not create a person knowing that that person would be destined for eternal damnation. They taught that all souls would achieve salvation sometimes after a period resembling purgatory.It denied the doctrine of everlasting damnation and proclaims belief in an entirely loving God who will ultimately redeem all human beings. This concepts was present in early Christianity and other religions. Gerrard Winstanley wrote “The Mysterie of God Concerning the Whole Creation, Mankinde” in London, England in 1648. In 1793 Universalism emerged as a denomination of Christianity in the United States eventually called the Universalist Church of America. It gathered several followers in the Mid-Atlantic states in the 18th century. In the 1830s the Universalist Church was the 9th largest denomination in the United States.
On July 21, 1912 the Universalist Church of Winchester, New Hampshire laid the cornerstone for it’s new church.