Peter Muhlenberg – December 23, 1775

Experience the American dream with today’s Patriots of the Past interview. I’m your host, John Gillespie.

It’s December 23, 1775. I’m in Virginia at the church of Reverend Peter Muhlenberg who is just about to conclude his sermon. Wait, he’s taking off his black preaching gown and he’s in full uniform of a Virginian colonel. Let’s listen in.

PM: “There is a time for all things. There is a time to preach and a time to pray, but those times have passed away. There is a time to fight and that time has now come.”

Nearly three hundred men enlisted with Reverend Muhlenberg that day as he became one of General Washington’s primary brigadier generals in the Continental Army.

A plaque at Muhlenberg Park in Washington, D.C., reads:

“John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg,
Born at Trappe, Pennsylvania, October 1, 1746,
Eldest son of Anna and Henry Melchior Muhlenberg,
Attended University of Halle, Germany, 1763,
Ordained Lutheran minister, 1768,
Pastor, Lutheran churches, New Jersey,
Married to Anna Meyer, 1770,
Ordained Episcopal minister, 1772,
Pastor, Lutheran and Episcopal churches, Woodstock, VA, 1772,
Preached his ‘time to pray, time to fight’ sermon, 1776,
and recruited a regiment from Virginia.
He was the ‘fighting parson of the American Revolution.'”

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.

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