Resources on History – Church

Booknote: “Meditations on Preaching” by Francis James Grimké

By Charlie Wingard · July 9, 2018 · 0 Comments
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First year students at Reformed Theological Seminary Jackson are introduced to the remarkable life, ministry, and writings of Francis James Grimké  through Thabiti Anywabile’s The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors. Born in 1850 to a white South Carolina plantation owner and slave mother, Grimké lost his father at an early age and, along with him, the protective care that sheltered him from some of the inherent brutality of the slave system. After escaping the cruelty of a white half-brother, he was recaptured and sold to a Confederate officer. After emancipation, Grimké proved himself a gifted and industrious student, graduating from Lincoln University and, later, Princeton Theological Seminary. At Princeton, he was among the last of Charles…

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“Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom”

By Charlie Wingard · November 13, 2015 · 0 Comments
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Last night I spent a memorable evening listening to photographer and author Alysia Burton Steele, who traveled 6,000 miles throughout the Mississippi Delta to interview 54 African-American women who grew up, married, and raised children during the Jim Crow era. Her Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom shares their stories. One of the grandmothers is Mrs. Velma T. Moore of Benoit. Married for 49 years when widowed, 15 children, 145 grandchildren, 33 great-grands, 26 great-great grands, and 14 great-great-great grands. Her testimony: “I always said, “Lord, I want one husband. I want all of my childen to be by that one man.’ And God fixed it so . . . I’m still Mrs. Moore. I be Mrs. Moore until…

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Remembering a Seminarian’s Courage

By Charlie Wingard · August 20, 2015 · 0 Comments
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Fifty years ago today VMI graduate and Episcopal theological student Jon Daniels was murdered in Hayneville, Alabama. A New Hampshire native, Daniels spent much of the spring and summer of 1965 working in Selma, Alabama’s voter registration campaign. While picketing racially discriminatory businesses in Ft. Deposit on August 14, he was one of a group of  protestors arrested and transported to the county jail in nearby Hayneville. In wretched living conditions, Daniels labored for the better part of a week to keep up the group’s spirits, leading his fellow prisoners in prayer and hymn singing.  An Episcopal group offered to post bail for Daniels. He declined; there wasn’t enough money to free all the prisoners. He would remain with his colleagues. Unexpectedly and ominously,  the prisoners were…

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Testimonies of Faith and Fortitude

By Charlie Wingard · July 11, 2015 · 0 Comments
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1843 was a momentous year in Presbyterian history. The founders of the Free Church of Scotland abandoned homes, incomes, and church buildings to uphold the spiritual independence of Christ’s church. Their courage captured the attention of the evangelical world, and bequeathed stirring testimonies of faith and fortitude to subsequent generations of Bible-believing Presbyterians. Author Sandy Finlayson skillfully sketches the lives of ten of these leaders in Unity & Diversity: The Founders of the Free Church of Scotland. Bound together by love of the gospel, a high view of the authority of God’s word, confessional fidelity, and missionary outreach, these men nevertheless held a variety of opinions on controversial issues of the day: church union with other Presbyterian denominations, Roman Catholic emancipation, the evangelistic campaigns of Dwight L.…

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Calvin: Waiting on God with Patience and Peseverance

By Charlie Wingard · February 23, 2015 · 0 Comments
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  Yesterday I finished reading Bruce Gordon’s masterful biography of John Calvin. The highest praise I can give Calvin is that it compares positively with my two favorite biographies, Peter Brown’s Augustine of Hippo: A Biography and George Marsden’s Jonathan Edwards: A Life. Calvin was a towering figure of his age. But above all Calvin was a pastor, his heart attuned to the realities of life in God’s persecuted church.  Gordon observes that “Resignation to fate and delusions of perfection were equally abhorrent to Calvin. God’s providence is an excuse for neither inaction nor wickedness; it encourages joy among the faithful, and fortifies them to face the hardships of the world, but it is not an inoculation. The Gospel teaches God’s everlasting kindness…

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Charles Hodge (December 27, 1797- June 19, 1878)

By Charlie Wingard · December 27, 2014 · 0 Comments
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Today is the anniversary of the birth of Charles Hodge, a towering leader in American Presbyterianism. We do well to pursue biblical studies and theology with his disciplined passion. Evangelical believers of previous generations spoke of “the force of truth.” And rightly so. Paul rejoices that the Romans “obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered” (Romans 6:17). That the union of will (obedience), affections (heart), and intellect (form of doctrine) marked their mature faith is no surprise. Through his Word, God appeals to our hearts through the mind, creating godly affections and sanctifying behavior. Charles Hodge knew the force of truth. His teaching career at Princeton Seminary spanned 58 years (1820-1878). Relationships with six decades of ministerial…

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