Dr. Louis Yock, Director of the Benzie Area Historical Museum, spoke to us about the development of religious denominations in our country.
With a PhD and a religious background that included being everything from a Benedictine monk to a Unitarian-Universalist, Lou Yock was more than qualified to cover his topic.  When settlers came to New England prior to the American Revolution, they were looking for something different from the state churches they were leaving in Europe.  Some settlers were puritans, others non-conformists and pilgrims. With John Wesley came the Great Awakening with an emphasis on atonement: literally at-one-ment with God.
From 1790 -1840 there came a second great awakening. John Wesley appointed unordained evangelists to travel and preach, with the overriding message being that we can improve ourselves and the world--essentially Rotary's theme this year of "Be a Gift to the World."  According to Lou, this became the broth of the melting pot of religious denominations in our country.