William Ellery Channing

1780-1842. Unitarian leader and abolitionist. Born in Newport, Rhode Island, he received his B.A. from Harvard in 1798 and was “regent” there from 1802 until in 1803 he was ordained as pastor of the Federal Street Congregational Church in Boston. His sermon at the ordination of Jared Sparks in Baltimore in 1809 set forth the tenets of Unitarianism, such as denial of the Trinity, the deity of Christ, total depravity, and a substitutionary atonement. In 1820 he organized the Berry Street Conference of liberal ministers out of which the American Unitarian Association developed in 1825. He also supported abolition of slavery, the merits of temperance, and peace instead of war.