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1780 – William Ellery Channing, “the father of American Unitarianism,” was born in Newport, Rhode Island. In 1903 he became minister of the Federal Street Church, now the Arlington Street Church. He created a stir with the sermon he preached at the ordination of Jared Sparks, “Unitarian Christianity.” A statue of him stands at one entrance to the Boston Public Gardens, facing the Arlington Street Church. Read more about William Ellery Channing.