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Roger Williams, 1603-1684, first Baptist Church

Written by: Ruckman    Posted on: 03/17/2003

Category: Biographies

Source: CCN

Roger Williams 1603-1684 Founder of the first Baptist church in America. Roger Williams was born in London and raised in the Episcopal Church, of which he was made a rector. Becoming dissatisfied with the ritual and ceremony of his church, he became a Puri- tan. He came to America and preached in Boston and Plymouth, Massachusetts, where he taught separation of church and state and complete religious freedom. He was driven from Salem, Massachusetts, because of these convictions.         He went to Narragansett Bay, where he did missionary work among the Indians. It was there that he founded the set- tlement of Providence, Rhode Island. At this time he became a Baptist and was immersed in water for the first time since his conversion. He served as governor of the new colony from 1654 to 1657, but he practiced his separation of church and state doctrines even as a civic ruler.         Under his leadership, Rhode Island was the first col- ony in the New World to establish complete religious liberty for all men.

Ruckman '66

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