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Deism stressed morality and rejected the orthodox Christian view of the divinity of Christ, often viewing him as nothing more than a "sublime" teacher of morality.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams are usually considered the leading American deists.

Enlarged and remodelled, the Christ Church building was completed in 1744. Contemporaries were in awe of the finished house of worship, one remarking that "it was the handsomest structure of the kind that I ever saw in any part of the world; uniting in the peculiar features of that species of architecture, the most elegant variety of forms, with the most chaste simplicity of combination." The South Quay Baptist Church (top) was founded in 1775, although it was not formally "organized" until ten years later.The difference between the interior of the rural Mount Shiloh Baptist Church and its Anglican counterpart, St.Churches reflected the customs and traditions as well as the wealth and social status of the denominations that built them.Hence, a new Anglican Church in rural Goose Creek, South Carolina, was fitted out with an impressive wood-carved pulpit, while a fledgling Baptist Church in rural Virginia had only the bare essentials.Locke also argued for the "reasonableness" of Christianity but rejected the efforts of Toland and other deists to claim him as their spiritual mentor.

Lord Viscount Bolingbroke (1678-1751), an English deist, was a lifelong favorite of Jefferson.

There is no doubt that they subscribed to the deist credo that all religious claims were to be subjected to the scrutiny of reason.

"Call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion," Jefferson advised.

Other founders of the American republic, including George Washington, are frequently identified as deists, although the evidence supporting such judgments is often thin.

Deists in the United States never amounted to more than a small percentage of an evangelical population.

Between 17, an estimated 75 to 80 percent of the population attended churches, which were being built at a headlong pace.