Experience the American dream with today’s Patriots of the Past interview. I’m your host, John Gillespie.
It’s December 19, 1775. I’m in the Presbyterian church in Newburyport, Massachusetts. It houses the remains of the Great Awakening evangelist, George Whitefield. Aaron Burr and a number of American officers are opening the coffin. The body is little more than dust.
JG: “Mr. Burr, what are you doing?”
AB: “John, we’re taking small pieces of Reverend Whitefield’s clothing for good luck charms for our officers.”
Carrying their relics, the American forces suffered a horrible winter in 1776, chewing on soap and nibbling candles for food. Soon, the Americans turned from worshipping God’s messenger, George Whitefield, to worshiping God Himself.
There is little doubt that George Whitefield would have cautioned against this relic practice and is quoted as saying the following:
“I am nothing, have nothing, and can do nothing without God. What although I may, like a polished sepulcher appear a little beautiful without, yet within I am full of pride, self-love, and all manner of corruption.”
“Let the name of Whitefield perish, but Christ be glorified.”
John and Jan Gillespie are the founders of the Rawhide Boys’ Ranch; they have fostered 351 teenagers and wrote the book Our 351 Sons; they have also assisted numerous churches in developing youth programs and expanding their total church ministries. After running for U.S. Senate, John founded 1776 American Dream, which exists to demonstrate the vision of our founding fathers and help our generation of youth passionately embrace those values.