Ebenezer Baptist Church (Atlanta, Georgia)
Ebenezer Baptist Church is an evangelical Christian Baptist church located in Atlanta, United States, affiliated with the Progressive National Baptist Convention. The church was founded in 1886 by eight people. In 1913, the church had 750 people. In 1927, Martin Luther King Sr. became assistant pastor. In 1960, Martin Luther King Jr. became co-pastor of the church with his father until 1968. In 1999, a new 1,700-seat church building called the Horizon Sanctuary was inaugurated on the site of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park. Official Website
Midtown Atlanta, or Midtown, is a high-density commercial and residential neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia. The exact geographical extent of the area is ill-defined due to differing definitions used by the city and local business groups. However, the commercial core of the area is anchored by a series of high-rise office buildings, condominiums and high-end retail along Peachtree Street between North Avenue and 17th Street. Midtown, situated between Downtown to the south and Buckhead to the north, is the second-largest business district in Metro Atlanta. In 2011, Midtown had a resident population of 41,681 and a business population of 81,418. Midtown has the highest density of art and cultural institutions in the Southeast, notably including the Fox Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, the High Museum of Art, the Center for Puppetry Arts, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Museum of Design Atlanta. Midtown attracts over 6 million visitors annually in connection with large annual events such Atlanta Pride, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, Music Midtown.
Since the 1990s, Midtown has been a primary area for high-density development due to the area's mass transit options, urban street grid, desirability. The definition and meaning of "Midtown" has varied over time, expanding from an original concept of a small neighborhood midway between Downtown and Buckhead. Boundary definitions vary by the source. In many cases, Midtown is a quasi-legal entity for zoning, law enforcement, tax purposes, it is defined by the City of Atlanta to include the business district along Peachtree Street as well as Historic Midtown, the residential area east of Piedmont Avenue and to the south of Piedmont Park. The Midtown Alliance defines a larger, "Greater Midtown" area of four square miles; this includes the area within the city's definition, but splitting it into the sub-areas Midtown Core and Midtown Garden District, i.e. Historic Midtown, it includes the neighborhoods of Ansley Park, Sherwood Forest, Atlantic Station, Home Park, Loring Heights. The area has gone by other names in the past.
An 1897 source refers to the area as North Atlanta, which would be the name of today's city of Brookhaven. The 1897 "North Atlanta" encompassed most of today's Midtown, Georgia Tech, English Avenue. Sources from the 1950s and early 1960s refer to the area as "Uptown Atlanta," a moniker which would be applied instead to Buckhead following its annexation; the southern half of Midtown between 8th Street and North Ave was purchased by Richard Peters in 1848 to use the pine forest there for fuel for his downtown flour mill. Over the next 40 years, Peters subdivided sections of these land lots off for a gridded residential area and built his own home there on Peachtree at 4th Street, his son, built his home on the block bounded by North Avenue, Piedmont Avenue, Ponce de Leon Avenue, Myrtle Street. The home, now called Ivy Hall, was restored by the Savannah College of Art & Design in 2008 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. After the Civil War, Peachtree between what is now 8th and 12th streets was still about a mile beyond the city limits, which ended at Pine Street.
After the American Civil War a shantytown named Tight Squeeze developed at Peachtree at what is now 10th Street. It was infamous for vagrancy, robberies of merchants transiting the settlement; as Atlanta grew further outwards from its historic center, mansions were constructed along Peachtree Street and the area around 10th was known as Blooming Hill. Cross streets were built and residential development began around 1880. Piedmont Park was established with the Piedmont Exposition of 1887, followed by the Cotton States and International Exposition of 1895, lending the area new prominence. Electric streetcar lines extended along Piedmont Avenue by 1895 and along Peachtree Street by 1900. In 1904, development on Ansley Park began. By the 1920s, Tenth and Peachtree had become the nexus of a significant shopping district for the surrounding neighborhood; the 1910 Encyclopædia Britannica listed Peachtree Street in Midtown as one of the finest residential areas of the city, along with Ponce de Leon Circle, Washington Street, Inman Park.
The Downtown Connector freeway opened in the 1950s, the blocks between Williams Street and Techwood Drive were demolished to make way for it. In 1959 Lenox Square and in 1964, Ansley Mall opened, the Tenth Street shopping district went into decline. By the late 1960s, Peachtree Street between Eighth and Fourteenth Streets had become a center of hippie culture known as The StripLarge-scale commercial development began with Colony Square, the first mixed-use development in the Southeast, built between 1969 and 1973; the MARTA subway line opened in 1981. In the 1980s, many older properties were demolished, some remaining vacant for decades. High-density commercial and residential development took root in the north–south corridor along Peachtree and West Peachtree; the BellSouth Center, now the AT&T Midtown Center, was long the landmark skyscraper in the area. However, commercial development escalated after 1987; the 2000s decade saw the construction of numerous high-rise condo buildings in Midtown, such as the Spire, 1010 Midtown.
In 2006, then-Mayor Shirley Franklin set in motion a plan to make the 14-block stretch of Peachtree Street a street-level shopping destination. The 2004 opening of the Seventeenth Street Bridge over the Downtown Connector reconnected Midtown with the west side of the city and to the Atlantic Station mixed-use development, built on the former site of the Atlantic Steel company; the Midtown Alliance, a group of volunteers, e
Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta
The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta is the diocese of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, with jurisdiction over middle and north Georgia. It is in Province IV of the Episcopal Church and its cathedral, the Cathedral of St. Philip, is in Atlanta, as are the diocesan offices; the Anglican presence in Georgia was established on February 12, 1733, with Christ Church in Savannah, Georgia. By 1841, the Diocese of Georgia had been established. In 1907 the diocesan convention unanimously voted to divide the diocese, forming the Diocese of Atlanta. In December 1907, the Diocese of Atlanta held its first convention at Macon. In 2007, the diocese celebrated its centennial, published a history of the diocese: The Diocese of Atlanta: Centennial Celebration 1907–2007, available from the Cathedral of St. Philip Book Store, Georgia. For much of its history, the Diocese has been one of the fastest-growing in the South, if not the country, due to the almost-geometric expansion of the population of metropolitan Atlanta.
Although evangelical and high-church alternatives have always existed, most congregations hold to a Broad Church, moderate-to-liberal theology and middle-of-the-road worship, with some parishes priding themselves on their progressive stances. The Atlanta Diocese is thus more liberal than many of the dioceses in the Fourth Province, since the area is home to a large population of educated, affluent professionals and white-collar employees, constituencies that have long been a mainstay of the Episcopal Church and that are not present in such large numbers elsewhere in the South. On 26 June 2015, Bishop Wright announced that congregations within the Diocese could perform same-sex marriages; the current bishop is Robert Christopher Wright, installed in October 2012. The immediate past bishop is J. Neil Alexander, installed in 2001. On January 25, 2006, he was nominated for election as Presiding Bishop, but he was defeated at the 2006 General Convention by Katharine Jefferts Schori; the Diocese of Atlanta has 10 convocations divided into 94 parishes and more than 55,000 parishioners.
Chattahoochee Valley Convocation St. Mary Magdalene Church, Columbus St. Thomas Church, Columbus Trinity Church, Columbus St. Nicholas' Church, Hamilton St. Mark's Church, LaGrange St. John's Church, West Point St. Thomas of Canterbury Church, Thomaston Zion Church, Talbotton East Atlanta Convocation Church of the Epiphany, Atlanta Church of Our Saviour, Atlanta St. Bartholomew's Church, Atlanta St. Bede's Church, Atlanta St. Simon's Church, Conyers Church of the Good Shepherd, Covington Holy Trinity Church, Decatur Emory Campus Ministry Macon Convocation All Angels' Church, Eatonton St. Andrew's Church, Fort Valley St. Luke's Church, Fort Valley Christ Church, Macon St. Francis' Church, Macon St. James' Church, Macon St. Paul's Church, Macon St. Stephen's Church, Milledgeville St. Mary's Church, Montezuma St. Christopher's Church, Perry All Saints' Church, Warner Robins Marietta Convocation St. Aidan's Church, Alpharetta-Milton St. Clement's Church, Canton Church of the Holy Spirit, Cumming Church of the Holy Family, Jasper Christ Church, Kennesaw Church of the Annunciation, Marietta St. Catherine's Church, Marietta St. James' Church, Marietta St. Jude's Church, Marietta St. Peter & St. Paul's Church, Marietta St. Teresa's Church, Acworth St. Benedict's Church, Smyrna St. David's Church, Roswell Mid-Atlanta Convocation St. Paul's Church, Atlanta All Saints' Church, Atlanta Church of the Incarnation, Atlanta St. Luke's Church, Atlanta Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta St. Timothy's Church, Decatur Church of the Holy Cross, Decatur Iglesia de Santa Maria, East Point Georgia Tech/Georgia State Campus North Atlanta Convocation Emmaus House Community Center, Atlanta Holy Comforter Church, Atlanta Holy Innocents' Church, Atlanta St. Anne's Church, Atlanta St. Dunstan's Church, Atlanta St. Martin in the Fields Church, Atlanta Church of the Atonement, Sandy Springs Northeast Georgia Convocation St. Gregory the Great Church, Athens Emmanuel Church, Athens UGA Center, Athens St. Clare's Church, Blairsville Grace-Calvary Church, Clarkesville Church of the Resurrection, Sautee-Nacoochee St. Elizabeth's Church, Dahlonega Grace Church, Gainesville Church of the Redeemer, Greensboro St. Alban's Church, Monroe St. Matthias' Church, Toccoa St. Gabriel's Church, Oakwood Church of the Advent, Madison Church of the Mediator, Washington St. Andrew's Church, Hartwell St. Anthony's Church, Winder St. Alban's Church, Elberton St. James' Church, Clayton Northeast Metro Convocation St. Michael & All Angels' Church, Stone Mountain St. Mary & St. Martha of Bethany Church, Buford St. Matthew's Church, Snellville St. Patrick's Church, Dunwoody Christ Church, Norcross Christ the King, Lilburn St. Columba's Church, Johns Creek St. Edward's Church, Lawrenceville Northwest Georgia Convocation St. Timothy's Church, Calhoun St. Peter's Church, Rome Church of the Transfiguration, Rome St. Barnabas' Church, Trion Church of the Ascension, Cartersville St. James' Church, Cedartown St. Mark's Church, Dalton Southwest Atlanta Convocation St. Paul's Church, Newnan St. Margaret's Church, Carrollton St. Andrew's in the Pines, Peachtree City St. Augustine of Canterbury Church, Morrow St. John's Church, College Park Church of the Good Shepherd, Austell Church of the Nativity, Fayetteville St. George's Church, Griffin St. Joseph's Church, McDonough St. Julian's Church, Douglasville Children of Grace Preschool, Gainesville Emmanuel Episcopal Day School, Athens Holy Innocents' Episcopal School, Atlanta Redeemer Episcopal Academy, Eatonton St. Anne's Day School, Atlanta St. Benedict's Episcopal Day School, Smyrna St. Laurence Education Center, Acworth St. Mark's Kindergarten, LaGrange St. Martin's Episcopal School, Atlanta St. Matthew's Pr
Civil rights movement
The civil rights movement in the United States was a decades-long struggle with the goal of enforcing constitutional and legal rights for African Americans that other Americans enjoyed. With roots that dated back to the Reconstruction era during the late 19th century, the movement achieved its largest legislative gains in the mid-1960s, after years of direct actions and grassroots protests that were organized from the mid-1950s until 1968. Encompassing strategies, various groups, organized social movements to accomplish the goals of ending legalized racial segregation, disenfranchisement, discrimination in the United States, the movement, using major nonviolent campaigns secured new recognition in federal law and federal protection for all Americans. After the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery in the 1860s, the Reconstruction Amendments to the United States Constitution granted emancipation and constitutional rights of citizenship to all African Americans, most of whom had been enslaved.
For a period, African Americans voted and held political office, but they were deprived of civil rights under Jim Crow laws, subjected to discrimination and sustained violence by whites in the South. Over the following century, various efforts were made by African Americans to secure their legal rights. Between 1955 and 1968, acts of nonviolent protest and civil disobedience produced crisis situations and productive dialogues between activists and government authorities. Federal and local governments and communities had to respond to these situations, which highlighted the inequities faced by African Americans across the country; the lynching of Chicago teenager Emmett Till in Mississippi, the outrage generated by seeing how he had been abused, when his mother decided to have an open-casket funeral, mobilized the African-American community nationwide. Forms of protest and/or civil disobedience included boycotts, such as the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama. Moderates in the movement worked with Congress to achieve the passage of several significant pieces of federal legislation that overturned discriminatory practices and authorized oversight and enforcement by the federal government.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 expressly banned discrimination based on race, religion, sex, or national origin in employment practices. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 restored and protected voting rights for minorities by authorizing federal oversight of registration and elections in areas with historic under-representation of minorities as voters; the Fair Housing Act of 1968 banned discrimination in the rental of housing. African Americans re-entered politics in the South, across the country young people were inspired to take action. From 1964 through 1970, a wave of inner-city riots in black communities undercut support from the white middle class, but increased support from private foundations; the emergence of the Black Power movement, which lasted from about 1965 to 1975, challenged the established black leadership for its cooperative attitude and its practice of nonviolence. Instead, its leaders demanded that, in addition to the new laws gained through the nonviolent movement and economic self-sufficiency had to be developed in the black community.
Many popular representations of the movement are centered on the charismatic leadership and philosophy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. who won the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in non-violent, moral leadership. However, some scholars note that the movement was too diverse to be credited to any one person, organization, or strategy. Before the American Civil War four million blacks were enslaved in the South, only white men of property could vote, the Naturalization Act of 1790 limited U. S. citizenship to whites only. But some free states of the North extended the franchise and other rights of citizenship to African Americans. Following the Civil War, three constitutional amendments were passed, including the 13th Amendment that ended slavery. From 1865 to 1877, the United States underwent a turbulent Reconstruction Era trying to establish free labor and civil rights of freedmen in the South after the end of slavery. Many whites resisted the social changes, leading to insurgent movements such as the Ku Klux Klan, whose members attacked black and white Republicans to maintain white supremacy.
In 1871, President Ulysses S. Grant, the U. S. Army, U. S. Attorney General Amos T. Akerman, initiated a campaign to repress the KKK under the Enforcement Acts; some states were reluctant to enforce the federal measures of the act. In addition, by the early 1870s, other white supremacist and insurgent paramilitary groups arose that violently opposed African-American legal equality and suffrage and suppressing black voters, assassinating Republican officeholders. However, if the states failed to implement the acts, the laws allowed the Federal Government to ge
Atlanta is the capital of, the most populous city in, the U. S. state of Georgia. With an estimated 2017 population of 486,290, it is the 38th most-populous city in the United States; the city serves as the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, home to 5.8 million people and the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the nation. Atlanta is the seat of the most populous county in Georgia. A small portion of the city extends eastward into neighboring DeKalb County. Atlanta was founded as the terminating stop of a major state-sponsored railroad. With rapid expansion, however, it soon became the convergence point between multiple railroads, spurring its rapid growth; the city's name derives from that of the Western and Atlantic Railroad's local depot, signifying the town's growing reputation as a transportation hub. During the American Civil War, the city was entirely burned to the ground in General William T. Sherman's famous March to the Sea. However, the city rose from its ashes and became a national center of commerce and the unofficial capital of the "New South".
During the 1950s and 1960s, Atlanta became a major organizing center of the civil rights movement, with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ralph David Abernathy, many other locals playing major roles in the movement's leadership. During the modern era, Atlanta has attained international prominence as a major air transportation hub, with Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport being the world's busiest airport by passenger traffic since 1998. Atlanta is rated as a "beta" world city that exerts a moderate impact on global commerce, research, education, media and entertainment, it ranks in the top twenty among world cities and 10th in the nation with a gross domestic product of $385 billion. Atlanta's economy is considered diverse, with dominant sectors that include transportation, logistics and business services, media operations, medical services, information technology. Atlanta has topographic features that include rolling hills and dense tree coverage, earning it the nickname of "the city in a forest."
Revitalization of Atlanta's neighborhoods spurred by the 1996 Summer Olympics, has intensified in the 21st century, altering the city's demographics, politics and culture. Prior to the arrival of European settlers in north Georgia, Creek Indians inhabited the area. Standing Peachtree, a Creek village where Peachtree Creek flows into the Chattahoochee River, was the closest Indian settlement to what is now Atlanta; as part of the systematic removal of Native Americans from northern Georgia from 1802 to 1825, the Creek were forced to leave the area in 1821, white settlers arrived the following year. In 1836, the Georgia General Assembly voted to build the Western and Atlantic Railroad in order to provide a link between the port of Savannah and the Midwest; the initial route was to run southward from Chattanooga to a terminus east of the Chattahoochee River, which would be linked to Savannah. After engineers surveyed various possible locations for the terminus, the "zero milepost" was driven into the ground in what is now Five Points.
A year the area around the milepost had developed into a settlement, first known as "Terminus", as "Thrasherville" after a local merchant who built homes and a general store in the area. By 1842, the town had six buildings and 30 residents and was renamed "Marthasville" to honor the Governor's daughter. J. Edgar Thomson, Chief Engineer of the Georgia Railroad, suggested the town be renamed Atlanta; the residents approved, the town was incorporated as Atlanta on December 29, 1847. By 1860, Atlanta's population had grown to 9,554. During the American Civil War, the nexus of multiple railroads in Atlanta made the city a hub for the distribution of military supplies. In 1864, the Union Army moved southward following the capture of Chattanooga and began its invasion of north Georgia; the region surrounding Atlanta was the location of several major army battles, culminating with the Battle of Atlanta and a four-month-long siege of the city by the Union Army under the command of General William Tecumseh Sherman.
On September 1, 1864, Confederate General John Bell Hood made the decision to retreat from Atlanta, he ordered the destruction of all public buildings and possible assets that could be of use to the Union Army. On the next day, Mayor James Calhoun surrendered Atlanta to the Union Army, on September 7, Sherman ordered the city's civilian population to evacuate. On November 11, 1864, Sherman prepared for the Union Army's March to the Sea by ordering the destruction of Atlanta's remaining military assets. After the Civil War ended in 1865, Atlanta was rebuilt. Due to the city's superior rail transportation network, the state capital was moved from Milledgeville to Atlanta in 1868. In the 1880 Census, Atlanta surpassed Savannah as Georgia's largest city. Beginning in the 1880s, Henry W. Grady, the editor of the Atlanta Constitution newspaper, promoted Atlanta to potential investors as a city of the "New South" that would be based upon a modern economy and less reliant on agriculture. By 1885, the founding of the Georgia School of Technology and the Atlanta University Center had established Atlanta as a center for higher education.
In 1895, Atlanta hosted the Cotton States and International Exposition, which attracted nearly 800,000 attendees and promoted the New South's development to the world. During the first decades of the 20th century, Atlanta experienced a period of unprecedented growth. In three decades' time, Atlanta's population tripled as the city limits expanded to include nearby streetcar suburbs; the city's skyline emerged with the construction of the
United Church of Christ
The United Church of Christ is a mainline Protestant Christian denomination based in the United States, with historical confessional roots in the Congregational and Lutheran traditions, with 4,956 churches and 853,778 members. The United Church of Christ is a historical continuation of the General Council of Congregational Christian churches founded under the influence of New England Pilgrims and Puritans. Moreover, it subsumed the third largest Reformed group in the country, the German Reformed; the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches united in 1957 to form the UCC. These two denominations, which were themselves the result of earlier unions, had their roots in Congregational, Lutheran and Reformed denominations. At the end of 2014, the UCC's 5,116 congregations claimed 979,239 members in the U. S. In 2015, Pew Research estimated that 0.4 percent, or 1 million adult adherents, of the U. S. population self-identify with the United Church of Christ.
The UCC maintains full communion with other mainline Protestant denominations. Many of its congregations choose to practice open communion; the denomination places high emphasis on participation in worldwide interfaith and ecumenical efforts. The national settings of the UCC have favored liberal views on social issues, such as civil rights, LGBT rights, women's rights, abortion. However, United Church of Christ congregations are independent in matters of doctrine and ministry and may not support the national body's theological or moral stances, it is self-described as "an pluralistic and diverse denomination". The United Church of Christ was formed when two Protestant churches, the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches united in 1957; this union adopted an earlier general statement of unity between the two denominations, the 1943 "Basis of Union". At this time, the UCC claimed about two million members. In 1959, in its General Synod, the UCC adopted a broad "Statement of Faith".
The UCC adopted its constitution and by-laws in 1961. There is no UCC hierarchy or body that can impose any doctrine or worship format onto the individual congregations within the UCC. While individual congregations are supposed to hold guidance from the general synod "in the highest regard", the UCC's constitution requires that the "autonomy of the Local Church is inherent and modifiable only by its own action". Within this locally focused structure, there are central beliefs common to the UCC; the UCC uses four words to describe itself: "Christian, Reformed and Evangelical". While the UCC refers to its evangelical characteristics, it springs from mainline Protestantism as opposed to Evangelicalism; the word evangelical in this case more corresponds with the original Lutheran origins meaning "of the gospel" as opposed to the Evangelical use of the word. UCC is theologically liberal, the denomination notes that the "Bible, though written in specific historical times and places, still speaks to us in our present condition".
The motto of the United Church of Christ comes from John 17:21: "That they may all be one". The denomination's official literature uses broad doctrinal parameters, emphasizing freedom of individual conscience and local church autonomy. In the United Church of Christ, creeds and affirmations of faith function as "testimonies of faith" around which the church gathers rather than as "tests of faith" rigidly prescribing required doctrinal consent; as expressed in the United Church of Christ constitution: The United Church of Christ acknowledges as its sole Head, Jesus Christ, Son of God and Savior. It acknowledges as kindred in Christ all, it looks to the Word of God in the Scriptures, to the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, to prosper its creative and redemptive work in the world. It claims as its own the faith of the historic Church expressed in the ancient creeds and reclaimed in the basic insights of the Protestant Reformers, it affirms the responsibility of the Church in each generation to make this faith its own in reality of worship, in honesty of thought and expression, in purity of heart before God.
In accordance with the teaching of our Lord and the practice prevailing among evangelical Christians, it recognizes two sacraments: Baptism and the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion. The denomination, looks to a number of historic confessions as expressing the common faith around which the church gathers, including: The Apostles' Creed, The Nicene Creed, The Heidelberg Catechism, Luther's Small Catechism, The Kansas City Statement of Faith, The Evangelical Catechism, The Statement of Faith of the United Church of Christ. In 2001, Hartford Institute for Religion Research did a "Faith Communities Today" study that included a survey of United Church of Christ beliefs. Among the results of this were findings that in the UCC, 5.6% of the churches responding to the survey described their members as "very liberal or progressive", 3.4% as "very conservative", 22.4% as "somewhat liberal or progressive", 23.6% as "somewhat conservative". Those results suggested a nearly equal balance between conservative congregations.
The self-described "moderate" group, was the largest at 45%. Other statistics found by the Hartford Institute show that 53.2% of members say "the Bible" is the highest sourc
Presbyterian Church (USA)
The Presbyterian Church is a mainline Protestant denomination in the United States. A part of the Reformed tradition, it is the largest Presbyterian denomination in the US, known for its progressive stance on doctrine; the PC was established by the 1983 merger of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, whose churches were located in the Southern and border states, with the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, whose congregations could be found in every state. The named Presbyterian Church in America is a separate denomination whose congregations can trace their history to the various schisms and mergers of Presbyterian churches in the United States; the denomination had 1,415,053 active members and 19,491 ordained ministers in 9,304 congregations at the end of 2017. This number does not include members who are baptized but who are not confirmed or the inactive members affiliated. For example, in 2005, the PC claimed 318,291 baptized, but not confirmed and nearly 500,000 inactive members in addition to active members.
Its membership has been declining over the past several decades. Average denominational worship attendance dropped to 565,467 in 2017 from 748,774 in 2013; the PC is the largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States. Presbyterians trace their history to the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century; the Presbyterian heritage, much of its theology, began with the French theologian and lawyer John Calvin, whose writings solidified much of the Reformed thinking that came before him in the form of the sermons and writings of Huldrych Zwingli. From Calvin's headquarters in Geneva, the Reformed movement spread to other parts of Europe. John Knox, a former Roman Catholic Priest from Scotland who studied with Calvin in Geneva, took Calvin's teachings back to Scotland and led the Scottish Reformation of 1560; because of this reform movement, the Church of Scotland embraced Reformed theology and presbyterian polity. The Ulster Scots brought their Presbyterian faith with them to Ireland, where they laid the foundation of what would become the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.
Immigrants from Scotland and Ireland brought Presbyterianism to America as early as 1640, immigration would remain a large source of growth throughout the colonial era. Another source of growth were a number of New England Puritans who left the churches because they preferred presbyterian polity. In 1706, seven ministers led by Francis Makemie established the first American presbytery at Philadelphia, followed by the creation of the Synod of Philadelphia in 1717; the First Great Awakening and the revivalism it generated had a major impact on American Presbyterians. Ministers such as William and Gilbert Tennent, a friend of George Whitefield, emphasized the necessity of a conscious conversion experience and pushed for higher moral standards among the clergy. Disagreements over revivalism, itinerant preaching, educational requirements for clergy led to a division known as the Old Side–New Side Controversy that lasted from 1741 to 1758. In the South, the Presbyterians were evangelical dissenters Scotch-Irish, who expanded into Virginia between 1740 and 1758.
Spangler argues they were more energetic and held frequent services better atuned to the frontier conditions of the colony. Presbyterianism grew in frontier areas. Uneducated whites and blacks were attracted to the emotional worship of the denomination, its emphasis on biblical simplicity, its psalm singing; some local Presbyterian churches, such as Briery in Prince Edward County, owned slaves. The Briery church purchased five slaves in 1766 and raised money for church expenses by hiring them out to local planters. After the United States achieved independence from Great Britain, Presbyterian leaders felt that a national Presbyterian denomination was needed, the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America was organized; the first General Assembly was held in Philadelphia in 1789. John Witherspoon, president of Princeton University and the only minister to sign the Declaration of Independence, was the first moderator. Not all American Presbyterians participated in the creation of the PCUSA General Assembly because the divisions occurring in the Church of Scotland were replicated in America.
In 1751, Scottish Covenanters began sending ministers to America, the Seceders were doing the same by 1753. In 1858, the majority of Covenanters and Seceders merged to create the United Presbyterian Church of North America. In the decades after independence, many Americans including Calvinists and Baptists were swept up in Protestant religious revivals that would become known as the Second Great Awakening. Presbyterians helped to shape voluntary societies that encouraged educational, missionary and reforming work; as its influence grew, many non-Presbyterians feared that the PCUSA's informal influence over American life might make it an established church. The Second Great Awakening divided the PCUSA over revivalism and fear that revivalism was leading to an embrace of Arminian theology. In 1810, frontier revivalists organized the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Throughout the 1820s, support and opposition to revivalism hardened into well-defined factions, the New School and Old School respectively.
By the 1838, the Old School–New School Controversy had divided the PCUSA. There were now two general assemblies each claiming to represent the PCUSA. In 1858, the New School split along sectional lines when its Southern synods and pre