Sunday, July 15th 10am Early years of the Universalist Society of Strafford 1798 -1834 led by John Freitag. Throughout Vermont in towns villages and cities are Universalist churches. What was this religious denomination that contrasted so sharply with the Calvinist churches that were dominate in New England and why did it flourish in the hills of Vermont ? The founding of the Universalist Society of Strafford was an important event not only for the people of Strafford but also for Universalism and may hold some clues as to why Vermonters embraced this belief in universal salvation . The Universalist Society of Strafford is the 2nd oldest Universalist Church in Vermont and 4th oldest in the nation. In Strafford, the church played a role in helping to heal bitter divisions created during the Revolutionary War. In 1802, early Universalist Churches gathered in a General Convention at the Strafford Town House to work out their Articles of Faith. The talk on the early history will be followed by a viewing of our 1833 church and later for those interested, the 1799 Strafford Town House which first served as the place of worship.