ROGER WILLIAMS CHAPTER
The Roger Williams Chapter was organized February 14, 1959 and chartered June 17, 1960. The chapter holds its meetings on the 3rd Saturday in February, May, October and 1st Saturday in December.
The chapter is named for Roger Williams (c. 21 December 1603 – between 27 January and 15 March 1683) who was a Puritan, an English Reformed theologian, and later a Reformed Baptist who was expelled by the Puritan leaders from the Massachusetts Bay Colony because local officials thought that he was spreading "new and dangerous ideas" to his congregants. He fled the Massachusetts colony under the threat of impending arrest and shipment to an English prison; he began the settlement of Providence Plantations in 1636 as a refuge offering freedom of conscience.
Williams was the 1638 founder of the First Baptist Church in America, also known as the First Baptist Church of Providence. He was also a student of Native American languages, an early advocate for fair dealings with American Indians, and one of the first abolitionists in North America, having organized the first attempt to prohibit slavery in any of the British American colonies. He is best remembered as the originator of the principle of separation of church and state.