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Newton, William Wilberforce  

(Nov. 4, 1843-June 25, 1914). Broad church theologian. He was born in Philadelphia. Newton graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1865 and from the Philadelphia Divinity School in 1868. He was ordained deacon on June 19, 1868, and priest on Feb. 19, 1869. He served for a year as assistant to his father at the Church of the Epiphany, Philadelphia, and then as rector of St. Paul's Church, Brookline, Massachusetts, 1870-1875, Trinity Church, Newark, 1875-1877, St. Paul's Church, Boston, 1877-1881, and St. Stephen's Church, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 1881-1900. In 1903-1904 he was chaplain of the English Church at Dinan, Brittany, and in 1905-1906 he was rector of the Church of the Ascension, Wakefield, Rhode Island. Newton was one of the organizers of the American Congress of Churches in 1884. This was an effort to promote inter-denominational cooperation among the churches, which met at Hartford, Connecticut, in 1885, and at Cleveland, Ohio, in 1886. Newton's father, Richard Newton, was called "the prince of preachers to children," and William continued that tradition. He published six volumes of sermons for children in the Pilgrim Series of Sermons for Children (1877-1890). As a broad churchman, he was committed to the unity of the church and was opposed to any expression of dogmatic sectarianism. He called for the church to be open to the intellectual and social trends of the day and to appropriate the truths of evolution and science. Newton died in Boston. See Newton, Richard Heber. 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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