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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Christianity and American History

Countless scholars can address the history of Christianity in America. As an analyst, I am reviewing some of the research to produce a succinct conclusion.

Being from Welsh heritage and a Baptist Minister of five generations past, we came to America to flee religious persecution, on the one hand. The King installed the Church of England, and people of Wales, who were traditionally pagan or without faith, suddenly embraced the notion of being something different. Henry George selected a faith that would have him and pay for the voyage.

His truest motivation and that of his community were to establish Wales in America. They wanted to be free farmers who lived by simple rules. They were highly cooperative.

"Christianity was introduced to North America as it was colonized by Europeans beginning in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Spanish, French, and British brought Roman Catholicism to the colonies of New Spain, New France, and Maryland respectively, while Northern European peoples introduced Protestantism to Massachusetts Bay Colony, New Netherland, Virginia colony, Carolina Colony, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Lower Canada. Among Protestants, adherents to Anglicanism, the Baptist Church, Congregationalism, Presbyterianism, Lutheranism, Quakerism, Mennonite and Moravian Church were the first to settle in the US, spreading their faith in the new country. 
Today most Christians in the United States are Mainline Protestant, Evangelical, or Roman Catholic."
At some point, there was a "great awakening."
The supporters of the Awakening and its evangelical thrust—Presbyterians, Baptists, and Methodists—became the largest American Protestant denominations by the first decades of the 19th century. By the 1770s, the Baptists were growing rapidly both in the north (where they founded Brown University), and in the South. Opponents of the Awakening or those split by it—Anglicans, Quakers, and Congregationalists—were left behind.
Henry George and his sons arrived in Ohio in the early 1800s. They fought against the British in the War of 1812. When finished with that, they were rewarded for service with more land to expand their "Welsh" community.

Being enterprising, the George family embarked upon trades and businesses, beyond farming. They attended church as a matter of routine practice.

They loved thy neighbors and were intent on living peacefully. When bullied, they fought back decisively. Being stout and strong, they won their battles but withdrew to return to peace as soon as possible.

Ask the later generations if they believe that America is a Christian nation, they most likely would reply, "I hope that they treat one another with equality and respect."

Faith is a personal matter to be respected and not imposed.

It was a crude beginning. 

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