Divisions in the Illinois Churches
Divisions in the Illinois Churches
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A most regrettable period in the Exile history surrounds the division of the Portuguese churches in Illinois. Here is a quick summary culled from old emails written by David Langum.

"They were involved in the Old School/New School controversies of the Presbyterian Church, and the specific issue was whether they needed to be rebaptised or whether their old Roman Catholic baptism was enough. Rev de Mattos thought the old baptism was enough. One of his congregations (Jacksonville) agreed and the other (Springfield) disagreed. In the case of Jacksonville (and maybe Springfield) there was a long series of lawsuits over the church property, and three separate opinions of the Illinois Supreme Court. The trial court records include depositions, which undoubtedly offer considerable social history of the community.

"The Testa article on Kalley, "The Apostle of Madeira," was translated and appears in English in the 1964 Journal of Presbyterian History. More recently in Winter 1997, another piece, by Dennis Suttles, "Schism on the Prairie: The Case of the Free Portuguese Church of Jacksonville, Illinois." Both are major, footnoted articles."

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