Congregational or Congregationalist churches are Protestant churches practicing congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation independently and autonomously runs its own affairs. Congregationalism is often considered to be a part of the wider Reformed tradition, ideas of nonconforming Protestants during the Puritan Reformation of the Church of England laid foundation for these churches. Congregationalists also differed with the Reformed churches using episcopalian church governance, within the United States, the model of Congregational churches was carried by migrating settlers from New England into New York, then into the Old North West, and further. With their insistence on independent local bodies, they became important in social reform movements, including abolitionism, temperance. Congregationalist tradition has a presence in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and it has been introduced either by immigrant dissenter Protestants or by missionary organization such as the London Missionary Society. Congregationalists believe their model of church governance fulfils the description of the early church, Congregationalism is more easily identified as a movement than a single denomination, given its distinguishing commitment to the complete autonomy of the local congregation. The early Congregationalists shared with Anabaptist theology the ideal of a pure church and they believed the adult conversion experience was necessary for an individual to become a full member in the church, unlike other Reformed churches. As such, the Congregationalists were an influence on the Baptists. They differed in counting the children of believers in some members of the church. On the other hand, the Baptists required each member to experience conversion, in England, the Anglican system of church government was taken over by King Henry VIII. It declared the sovereign of England to be the only supreme head on earth of the Church in England. In the reign of Elizabeth I, this title was changed to Supreme Governor of the Church of England, an act still in effect. Robert Browne, Henry Barrow, John Greenwood, John Penry, William Brewster, Thomas Jollie, the underground churches in England and exiles from Holland provided about 35 out of the 102 passengers on the Mayflower, which sailed from London in July 1620. They became known in history as the Pilgrim Fathers, the early Congregationalists sought to separate themselves from the Anglican church in every possible way and even eschewed having church buildings. They met in homes for many years, in 1639 William Wroth, then Rector of the parish church at Llanvaches in Monmouthshire, established the first Independent Church in Wales according to the New England pattern, i. e. Congregational. The Tabernacle United Reformed Church at Llanvaches survives to this day, during the English Civil War, those who supported the Parliamentary cause were invited by Parliament to discuss religious matters. This government would last until 1660 when the monarch was restored, in 1658 the Congregationalists created their own version of the Westminster Confession, called the Savoy Declaration, which remains the principal subordinate standard of Congregationalism. The work in South America began in 1921 when four Argentine churches urgently requested that denominational recognition be given to George Geier, the Illinois Conference licensed Geier, who worked among Germans from Russia who were very similar to their kin in the United States and in Canada
Timothy Dwight IV
Timothy Dwight was an American academic and educator, a Congregationalist minister, theologian, and author. He was the president of Yale College. Timothy Dwight was born May 15,1752 in Northampton, Massachusetts, the Dwight family had a long association with Yale College, as it was then known. His paternal grandfather, Colonel Timothy Dwight, was born October 19,1694, and died April 30,1771. His father, a merchant and farmer known as Major Timothy Dwight, was born May 27,1726, graduated from Yale in 1744, served in the American Revolutionary War and his mother Mary Edwards was the third daughter of theologian Jonathan Edwards. He was said to have learned the alphabet at a single lesson and he had 12 younger siblings, including journalist Theodore Dwight. Dwight graduated from Yale in 1769, for two years, he was rector of the Hopkins Grammar School in New Haven, Connecticut. He was a tutor at Yale College from 1771 to 1777, licensed to preach in 1777, he was appointed by Congress chaplain in General Samuel Holden Parsonss Connecticut Continental Brigade. He served with distinction, inspiring the troops with his sermons and the war songs he composed. On March 3,1777, Dwight married Mary Woolsey, the daughter of New York merchant and this marriage connected him to some of New Yorks wealthiest and most influential families. Woolsey had been Dwights fathers Yale classmate, roommate, and intimate friend, on news of his fathers death in the fall of 1778, he resigned his commission and returned to take charge of his family in Northampton. Besides managing the farms, he preached and taught, establishing a school for both sexes. During this period, he served two terms in the Massachusetts legislature, declining calls from churches in Beverly and Charlestown, he chose instead to settle from 1783 until 1795 as minister in Greenfield Hill, a congregational church in Fairfield, Connecticut. There he established an academy, which at once acquired a high reputation, Dwight was an innovative and inspiring teacher, preferring moral suasion over the corporal punishment favored by most schoolmasters of the day. In 1788, Dwight purchased a slave, a woman named Naomi and he stated that his intention was for her to purchase her freedom for an unspecified number of years of faithful servitude. It is unknown whether she was successful in obtaining her freedom and it is also unknown whether he held her in slavery while serving as the President of Yale. Dwight was the leader of the evangelical New Divinity faction of Congregationalism—a group closely identified with Connecticuts emerging commercial elite, although fiercely opposed by religious moderates, most notably Yale President Ezra Stiles, he was elected to the presidency of Yale on Stiless death in 1795. Shortly afterwards, he was elected a member of the Connecticut Society of the Cincinnati
Abigail Adams was the closest advisor and wife of John Adams, as well as the mother of John Quincy Adams. John frequently sought the advice of Abigail on many matters, and their letters are filled with discussions on government. Her letters also serve as eyewitness accounts of the American Revolutionary War home front, Abigail Adams was born at the North Parish Congregational Church in Weymouth, Massachusetts, to William Smith and Elizabeth Smith. On her mothers side she was descended from the Quincy family, through her mother she was a cousin of Dorothy Quincy, wife of John Hancock. Adams was also the great-granddaughter of John Norton, founding pastor of Old Ship Church in Hingham, Massachusetts, the only remaining 17th-century Puritan meetinghouse in Massachusetts. Smith married Elizabeth Quincy in 1742, and together they had four children and their only son, born in 1746, died of alcoholism in 1787. As with several of her ancestors, Adamss father was a liberal Congregationalist minister, Smith did not focus his preaching on predestination or original sin, instead he emphasized the importance of reason and morality. In July 1775 his wife Elizabeth, with whom he had married for 33 years. In 1784, at age 77, Smith died, Abigail did not receive formal schooling, she was frequently sick as child, which may have been a factor which prevented her from receiving an education. Later in life, Adams would also consider that she was deprived an education because females were given such an opportunity. Her grandmother, Elizabeth Quincy, also contributed to Adams education, as she grew up, Adams read with friends in an effort to further her learning. As an intellectually open-minded woman for her day, Adams ideas on womens rights and government would play a major role, albeit indirectly. She became one of the most erudite women ever to serve as First Lady, as third cousins, Abigail and John had known each other since they were children. In 1762, John accompanied his friend Richard Cranch to the Smith household, Cranch was engaged to Adams older sister, Mary, and they would be the parents of federal judge William Cranch. John was quickly attracted to the petite, shy, 17-year-old brunette who was bent over some book. He was surprised to learn she knew so much poetry, philosophy. Smith, Abigails father, presided over the marriage of John Adams, after the reception, the couple mounted a single horse and rode off to their new home, the small cottage and farm John had inherited from his father in Braintree, Massachusetts. Later they moved to Boston, where his law practice expanded, the couple welcomed their first child nine months into their marriage
John Adams was an American patriot who served as the second President of the United States and the first Vice President. He was a lawyer, diplomat, statesman, political theorist, and, as a Founding Father and he was also a dedicated diarist and correspondent, particularly with his wife and closest advisor Abigail. He collaborated with his cousin, revolutionary leader Samuel Adams, Adams was a delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress, where he played a leading role in persuading Congress to declare independence. He assisted Thomas Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776, as a diplomat in Europe, he helped negotiate the eventual peace treaty with Great Britain, and acquired vital governmental loans from Amsterdam bankers. Adams was the author of the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780 which influenced American political theory. Adamss credentials as a revolutionary secured for him two terms as President George Washingtons vice president and also his own election in 1796 as the second president. In his single term as president, he encountered fierce criticism from the Jeffersonian Republicans, as well as the dominant faction in his own Federalist Party, led by his rival Alexander Hamilton. Adams signed the controversial Alien and Sedition Acts, and built up the army, the major accomplishment of his presidency was a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the face of Hamiltons opposition. Due to his strong posture on defense, Adams is often called the father of the American Navy and he was the first U. S. president to reside in the executive mansion, now known as the White House. In 1800, Adams lost re-election to Thomas Jefferson and retired to Massachusetts and he eventually resumed his friendship with Jefferson upon the latters own retirement by initiating a correspondence which lasted fourteen years. He and his wife established a family of politicians, diplomats, Adams was the father of John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States. He died on the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Modern historians in the aggregate have favorably ranked his administration, John Adams was born on October 30,1735 to John Adams Sr. and Susanna Boylston. He had two brothers, Peter and Elihu. Adams birthplace was then in Braintree, Massachusetts, and is preserved at Adams National Historical Park, Adams mother was from a leading medical family of present-day Brookline, Massachusetts. His father was a Congregationalist deacon, a farmer, a cordwainer, the Deacon also served as a selectman and supervised the building of schools and roads. Adams often praised his father and recalled their close relationship, though raised in modest surroundings, Adams felt an acute responsibility to live up to his familys heritage of reverence. Journalist Richard Brookhiser wrote that Adams Puritan ancestors believed they lived in the Bible, England under the Stuarts was Egypt, they were Israel fleeing
John Adams Sr.
John Adams Sr. was the father of the second U. S. President, John Adams, and grandfather of the sixth President, John Quincy Adams. He was himself the grandson of Henry Adams, who emigrated from Braintree, Essex. He was also descended from John and Priscilla Alden, Adams worked as a farmer and cobbler for most of his life. Adams descendants include many prominent persons in American history, and his home is a National Park, not only was he the father and grandfather of presidents, he also was a first cousin, once removed, of Samuel Adams. In 1720, Adams purchased a farm in what is now Quincy, the location of his farm, and where his children were born, is now part of Adams National Historical Park. This saltbox house, a simple and common dwelling characterized by its roof, is operated by the National Park Service as the John Adams Birthplace. On December 19,1960, the birthplace was designated a National Historic Landmark, the future President lived here with his parents on the farm until 1764, when he married Abigail Smith. It is a few feet from the John Quincy Adams Birthplace, oddly, his house lay at an angle to the road. Adams was primarily a farmer during the season, and also worked as a shoemaker. He was a freeholder, who owned rather than rented his land and he was proud of being a landowner, and felt that land was a good investment, only once selling land, ten acres to pay for his sons Harvard education. Adams was also a deacon in his church, a lieutenant in the Massachusetts colonial militia, a tax collector, the younger John Adams wrote of the religion his father was so passionate for, bearers of freedom, a cause that still had holy urgency. The future president was first known by reputation as the son of Deacon John. As a selectman, or town councilman, for 20 years, he supervised the poor house, schools and his wife forced him to resign as selectman after a family row over his taking in a destitute young female. A leading local man, other men would stop by Deacon Johns house to discuss business or religion and he even received a visit from Punkapaug and Neponset Indian chiefs. Adams attended Harvard College, and sent his eldest son there as well and he did not want his son to be a farmer, but rather, a minister. In fact, he sold 10 acres of his land to pay for Johns proverbial Harvard education, the president praised his father and paternal ancestors as independent country gentlemen, who had not gone bankrupt, didnt gamble, and had never committed fraud. Adams married well, to Susanna Boylston, from a prominent family of scientists and medical doctors and his socialite bride came from the wealthy and respected line of Boylstons of Brookline. Susanna had a social standing than him
Samuel Adams was an American statesman, political philosopher, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a cousin to fellow Founding Father, President John Adams. Adams was born in Boston, brought up in a religious, a graduate of Harvard College, he was an unsuccessful businessman and tax collector before concentrating on politics. His 1768 Massachusetts Circular Letter calling for colonial non-cooperation prompted the occupation of Boston by British soldiers, continued resistance to British policy resulted in the 1773 Boston Tea Party and the coming of the American Revolution. Parliament passed the Coercive Acts in 1774, at which time Adams attended the Continental Congress in Philadelphia which was convened to coordinate a colonial response, Adams returned to Massachusetts after the American Revolution, where he served in the state senate and was eventually elected governor. Samuel Adams later became a figure in American history. Accounts written in the 19th century praised him as someone who had been steering his fellow colonists towards independence long before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. This view gave way to negative assessments of Adams in the first half of the 20th century, both of these interpretations have been challenged by some modern scholars, who argue that these traditional depictions of Adams are myths contradicted by the historical record. Samuel Adams was born in Boston in the British colony of Massachusetts on September 16,1722, an Old Style date that is sometimes converted to the New Style date of September 27. Adams was one of children born to Samuel Adams, Sr. and Mary Adams in an age of high infant mortality. Adamss parents were devout Puritans and members of the Old South Congregational Church, the family lived on Purchase Street in Boston. Adams was proud of his Puritan heritage, and emphasized Puritan values in his political career, Samuel Adams, Sr. was a prosperous merchant and church deacon. Deacon Adams became a figure in Boston politics through an organization that became known as the Boston Caucus. The Boston Caucus helped shape the agenda of the Boston Town Meeting, Deacon Adams rose through the political ranks, becoming a justice of the peace, a selectman, and a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. In the coming years, members of the party became known as Whigs or Patriots. The younger Samuel Adams attended Boston Latin School and then entered Harvard College in 1736 and his parents hoped that his schooling would prepare him for the ministry, but Adams gradually shifted his interest to politics. After graduating in 1740, Adams continued his studies, earning a degree in 1743. Adamss life was affected by his fathers involvement in a banking controversy