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George Washington’s gratitude and faith in God

George Washington’s gratitude and faith in God

George Washington 4American Minute with Bill Federer

OCTOBER 3, 1789, from the U.S. Capitol in New York City, President George Washington issued the first Proclamation of a National Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer to Almighty God.


Just one week earlier the first session of the U.S. Congress successfully approved the Bill of Rights, which put ten limitations on the power of the new Federal Government.

The States were concerned the Federal Government would get too powerful.

The Preamble to the Bill of Rights explained:

“The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added…as amendments to the Constitution of the United States.”

The First of the Ten Amendments restricting the Federal Government’s abuse of its powers began:

“CONGRESS shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,


or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;

or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,

and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

President George Washington thanked God for the “Constitutions of government…particularly the national one now lately instituted,” stating in his Proclamation, OCTOBER 3, 1789:

“Whereas it is the DUTY of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of ALMIGHTY GOD, to obey His will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and

Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me

‘to recommend to the People of the United States A DAY OF PUBLIC THANKSGIVING AND PRAYER to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of ALMIGHTY GOD,

especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to ESTABLISH A FORM OF GOVERNMENT for their safety and happiness;’

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the twenty-sixth day of November next, to be devoted by the People of these United States to the service of that GREAT AND GLORIOUS BEING, who is the BENEFICENT AUTHOR of all the good that was, that is, or that will be;

That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks,

for His kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation;

for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of HIS PROVIDENCE, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war;

for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed,

for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to ESTABLISH CONSTITUTIONS OF GOVERNMENT for our safety and happiness, and PARTICULARLY THE NATIONAL ONE NOW LATELY INSTITUTED,

for the CIVIL AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;

and in general for all the great and various favors which He hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to THE GREAT LORD AND RULER OF NATIONS, and beseech Him

to pardon our national and other transgressions,

to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually;

to render OUR NATIONAL GOVERNMENT a blessing to all the People, by constantly being A GOVERNMENT OF WISE, JUST AND CONSTITUTIONAL LAWS, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed;

to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord;

TO PROMOTE THE KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE OF TRUE RELIGION AND VIRTUE, and the increase of science among them and us;

and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3rd of October, IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine. -George Washington.”

Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.

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118 — April 28 – This Day in Baptist History Past

Baptists split over Slavery
Before the break of the southern brethren to begin their own convention, some of the northern brethren met and formed the American Baptist Anti-Slavery Convention. It held its first session in New York City, beginning on April 28, 1840. The northern Baptists addressed their southern equivalents as follows: “It is our firm conviction that the whole system of American slavery, in theory and practice, is a violation of the instincts of nature, — a perversion of the first principle of justice, —and a positive transgression of the revealed will of God. . . . Thus we behold, in all the Scriptures a virtual and total condemnation of American slavery.”
After much maneuvering on the part of brethren from the North and South to affect some compromise, a test case was presented to the Home Society when a slaveholder was presented as a missionary candidate. The candidate was rejected, and this brought about the formation of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1845. The schism would prove permanent, but even then fraternal relations were continued by some, and the phenomenon can only be explained by the commonality of faith.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 173
The post 118 — April 28 – This Day in Baptist History Past appeared first on The Trumpet Online.

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237 – Aug. 25 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Salvation Free to All


1843 – Ephraim Moore, who was born on July 1, 1793, saw his efforts against the hyper-Calvinist’s who taught that, “salvation is for the elect only”, and those Baptists who believed that, “the gospel should be preached to every creature” come to fruition. On this day and the next, the joint convention of representatives of the Holston, Tenn., Nolachucky and East Tenn. Associations, gathered to meet with the Pleasant Grove Church, in Cocke County. In the revision of their Articles of Faith, ‘Article 7’ a change was made as follows: ‘That the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel, and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own voluntary refusal to submit to the Lord Jesus Christ, which refusal will subject him to an aggravated punishment.’ This was a large and widely representative body of East Tenn. Baptists, and its adoption was unanimous. Moore, a veteran of the War of 1812 was raised in reformed Presbyterianism. He came to believe that he could repent and believe the gospel having read John 6:28-29. He was baptized and became a member of the South Baptist Church in Morristown, Tenn. Later he was called for a heresy trial on the issue mentioned above and excluded from the church, along with his followers, and became Pastor of the Friendship Baptist Church of Warrensburg, Tenn. for twenty-five years. Because of the faithfulness of Moore and others, the great missionary movement was launched among Baptists in the 19th Century. [J.J. Skethches of Tennessee’s Pioneer Baptist Preachers (Nashville: Press of Marshall and Bruce Company, 1919) pp. 382-83. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 464-466.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon



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Baptists and the Lone Star Republic

Sam Houston

A general convention was called and met on March 1, 1836 in Washington, Texas, after a number of small battles were fought over the freedom of Texas. With many betrayals from the Mexican Democratic government, the Texans realized that they could not rely on Mexican Constitutionalists for help, and thus determined to fight for total freedom. At this general convention, churches, except Catholic churches, had been forbidden by law, and so no schools had yet been built, so they met in a blacksmith shop owned by a Baptist, N. T. Brays.  Blacksmithing was suspended; the area was cleared, and benches prepared for the first great Texas convention.  Judge Richard Ellis, a Baptist farmer, was chosen to preside over the session. The following day Texas independence was declared, and governmental organization was begun.  General Sam Houston was selected as the commander-in-chief of Texan armies.  Four days after the signing of the declaration of Texas independence, the Alamo fell and 182 courageous men were slain.

Just twenty-five days after the horrible massacre, the Battle of San Jacinto was fought, and the Texans led by General Houston, were spurred on by the battle cry, “remember the Alamo.” In about thirty minutes 750 Texans took on 1500 Mexican troops in which half of the Mexicans were dead and the remainder captured and Santa Anna was a prisoner. Texas was free, and a new state was born led by Baptist men.  Judge Richard Ellis was from a prominent Virginia Baptist family that provided preachers for Virginia and Texas.  N.T. Byars, the blacksmith, in time was appointed the first Texas Baptist missionary, and became a church planter. General Sam Houston became a great Baptist nobleman.  Please observe these men did not desire a state church but sought political and religious freedom for all the citizenry.

Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: “This Day in Baptist History III”,  David L. Cummins. pp. 125  –  126


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[t]he Baptist doctrine of local church autonomy prevailed]
 On Jan. 31, 1938, in a specially-called meeting, the congregation voted 92-18 to concur with the pastor and deacons and withdraw from the Convention and its affiliated organizations. On May 16, 1926, Rev. Ford Porter had become pastor of the First Baptist Church of Princeton, IN. This church held membership in the Northern Baptist Convention, the Indiana Baptist Convention, and the Evansville Baptist Association. The battle between fundamentalism and modernism had recently begun. Pastor Porter had become aware of serious modernistic inroads into the Northern Baptist Convention. Believing in the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Bible, he determined that he would position the congregation solidly upon the inerrant, infallible Word of God. In 1932 during the depression, more than 200 professed conversion or united with the church. The church came to the conclusion that something must be done about their alignments so a special church meeting was called to discuss the matter, when the above vote was taken. However a minority refused to admit defeat and spurred on by denominational leaders they took the church to court asking to be declared the true First Baptist Church of Princeton. We should all rejoice that the Baptist doctrine of local church autonomy prevailed as the court ruled in favor of the majority. Dr. Robert T. Ketcham, one of the founders of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches testified on behalf of the church in this case. Rev. Porter’s son Robert was only 13 years old at this time. Rev. Porter wrote the famous tract, God’s Simple Plan of Salvation.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins, pp. 62-64.

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He made it clear that all associations are entirely “voluntary”.
December 06, 1821 – The First State convention was formed in South Carolina, “for the promotion of evangelical and useful knowledge, by means of religious education and the support of missionary service among the destitute…and the promotion of the true interest of the churches of Christ in general, and of their union, love and harmony in particular.” And yet again, “The Convention shall recognize the independence and liberty of the Churches of Christ, and consequently shall not in any case arbitrarily interfere with their spiritual obligations.” Denominational colleges were begun rapidly in the states that followed the pattern of establishing state conventions. The first cohesive effort among Baptists began in 1707. It was for the purpose of educating its ministers and the spread of the gospel in the world. The growth of associations was very slow among the Baptist churches for fear of the assumption of power by the associations. It was 60 years after the Philadelphia Association that the Warren Association, of Rhode Island was formed. It was only after assurances from men like Edward T. Hiscox in his Baptist Directory (1866) did the growth of the associations proliferate. He made it clear that all associations are entirely “voluntary”. No church or individual was obligated to unite with them and they “can leave them when they wish.” The research by Robert G. Gardner reveals that in 1780 there were approximately 1066 Baptist churches in America and only 14 Associations, representing 286 churches which were less than 25%. However that was to change drastically when Luther Rice returned from the field from India. The birth of the Triennial Convention for the cause of missions, the development of associations and state conventions became a reality.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 508-10.

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313 – Nov. 9 – This Day In Baptist History

November 09, 1798 – Asahel Morse was baptized, and then licensed to preach in 1799. In 1818 he became a member of the State Convention in Connecticut to frame a new state constitution. He wrote the article on religious liberty that secured the rights of conscience. He was a man of great power and influence among the Baptists, and in 1820 he went to Philadelphia as a delegate from the Conn. Baptist Missionary Board to the Baptist General Convention. All of this came about because of the spiritual awakening called the “New Light Stir”, under the preaching of George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards, and there was no greater “stir” than in the colony of Connecticut. The controversy continued for many years and centered on the Half-way covenant. pedobaptism, and religious liberty. The legislature passed laws against the separates, Congregationalists who were called, “New Lights” because they renounced infant immersion and embraced Baptist principles of believer’s baptism, etc. They were dismissed from public office and students from Yale College, and also excommunicated them from their churches. Many of the New Lights, having embraced and suffered with the Baptists for decades united with them, including in some instances entire churches. Here again is another example of how the Baptists were at the forefront of the battle for religious liberty in the beginning of our nation.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 466-67.

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