On 4 July 1827, Rev. Ezra Stiles Ely, minister of the ird Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, delivered one of the most controversial American sermons of its time, ‘ e Duty of Christian Freemen to Elect Christian Rulers’. Ely, an opponent of incumbent President and suspected Unitarian John Quincy Adams, used the sermon to argue that ‘every ruler should be an avowed and sincere friend of Christianity’ and that friends of true religion should form ‘a Christian party in politics’ to ensure that only godly men were elected to public o ce. Ely’s sermon became a pivotal movement in the debate over church and state in the Early Republic.1