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"White Church Deerfield Mass Built 1838"
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Controversy erupted in Deerfield, Massachusetts, when the Congregational Church ordained the Reverend Samuel Willard as their minister in 1807. A Unitarian, Willard rejected older doctrines of the Church such as the total depravity of humanity and the divinity of Jesus Christ. In a pattern repeated in many Congregational Churches in New England, a dismayed minority left the Deerfield Church. Area ministers at first refused to ordain Willard. The Deerfield Church continued to hire Unitarian ministers after Willard retired, and a small group of orthodox Congregationalists built this new white frame meetinghouse in 1838. The two churches resolved their differences in 1931 and legally reunited in 1947. Historic Deerfield, Inc., acquired the now-empty orthodox church, and converted it into a community center.
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