Beginning this weekend and continuing through the weeks ahead, America will celebrate the 400th Anniversary of the first landing of the English at Jamestown, Virginia: April 29, 1607. On that date, kneeling in humility, Pastor Robert Hunt prayed to dedicate the New World to God. Today, Christians across the nation will commemorate that date by joining in prayer, and by signing a covenant to rededicate this land back to our Lord. Praise God!
Below please find the list of prayer requests issued by the leadership of The Assembly 2007 on behalf of these events, as well as a link to go to so that you can align yourself in repentance and in the signing of the covenant to rededicate ourselves and this land back to the Lord Jesus Christ.
However, please permit us first to review the historical record of our nation's founding by presenting a few other facts for your prayerful consideration. We do this, "speaking the truth in love" so that we might all be aligned in the fullness of the truth of the history of Christianity in America. We do this, too, knowing that there were indeed others who explored this continent throughout the 1500's, some of whom also dedicated the land to their own faith -- especially Jesuit priests and explorers from Spain. But for today, we turn to the French . . .
1. While the landing at Jamestown was the first one cited by the English, it was not the first landing by Christian men and women on our soil. The first landing took place 42 years earlier, when 300 Christian (Huguenot) colonists from France in northern Florida (now Jacksonville) came here in order to freely practice the faith and teachings of John Calvin, and others.
2. Hence, the first landing by Christians on our land did not take place on April 29, 1607, but instead on June 30, 1564; this was accomplished after an exploratory scouting by the French on May 1, 1562 (when the land was also dedicated to our Lord).
3. Like the English, the French came here for religious freedom, fleeing the sword of the Inquisition at that time. And like the English, the French -- upon landing -- dedicated their lives and this land to the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. Like the English, the French founded a settlement in present-day Jacksonville called Fort Caroline, where they worshipped the God of Jacob, and ceased all labor daily at noon to pray, to worship, and to study the Word of God.
5. The Spanish also came here in 1565, on orders of King Philip II, to "take care of the French problem." In so doing, they established the city of St. Augustine, Florida on September 8,1565.
6. Unlike the Jamestown settlement, which eventually disappeared, St. Augustine can still be visited today -- the oldest and the "first city" in our nation.
7. And finally, unlike the English, who lived out their lives in Virginia, the French did meet the Sword of the Inquisition on the sandy shores of northern Florida in three episodes in the fall of 1565. At issue were questions of land rights and religion; in the end, almost all who came died by the sword, in defense of our faith.
Therefore, the French Huguenots who settled in northern Florida in 1564 and who met their deaths in 1565, were the first Christian martyrs on our continent. Their blood was shed quietly on those sands; and their memories have been forgotten by most.
So today, while we certainly honor the great contribution of the English of Jamestown to our history, we wish to also honor the memory of those martyrs who preceded them. We believe that, because that blood was shed for the Cross of Christ in 1565, the heavens over the Atlantic Ocean were "ripped open" one generation later and the way was made straight for others to carry the seeds of the gospel to this continent in 1607, because it is written:
"They overcame him through the Blood of the Lamb, through the Word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto death." (Revelation 12:11)
And so, one generation later, they came . . . from England . . . and the rest of our great historical record began to be written on our land.
(For more information on the hidden French chapter of our American history, please go to: http://www.christfellowship-lc.org/matanzas.htm Thank you!)
Sara Ballenger, Founder and President
Capitol Hill Prayer Partners