In the early history of the United States of America several influential men contributed to the formation of this great nation and one of them was George Washington. Many books have been written about his biography, his accomplishments and his contribution. But, one thing distinguished George Washington above all the others and it was, his commitment to the Almighty God.
In this article, NAFAPAC’s mission is to make Americans of Faith familiar with history, or refresh history for those already knowledgeable of it. Today, we are writing a brief outline about George Washington and his commitment to the Constitution, to the country and to the Almighty God. The following are some historical facts about George Washington, his relationship to God, his character, his moral principles, his integrity and his influence as one of the Funding Fathers of this great nation.
George Washington and his early teachings
George Washington was born in Wakefield, Virginia on February 22, 1732. His father, Augustine Washington, and mother, Mary Ball Washington, were dedicated Christians. Virginia had no public schools at that time, so George’s early education was accomplished by home schooling and mainly using the Bible as a manual of knowledge and good writing. George W. was raised in a godly home. His father taught him the meaning of family values, the importance of self-discipline, to be unselfish, the love for honesty and transparency and to truth his God.
After George’s father died, while George W. was eleven years of age, his mother continued teaching him the word of God from the Bible and how to pray. As a result of these teachings, George Washington became a man of faith in God.
He was a very modest person and rarely discussed or wrote about his Christian faith in any great detail; yet, he frequently displayed a gracious respect towards God in his personal letters and public speeches. We have also learned more about his faith from testimonies written by others in books and articles.
George Washington and his commitment to the Almighty God
George Washington once said, “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than of the United States.” Here is referring to the invisible hands of God.
God protected George Washington in the battle field fighting the Indian nations. He was shot several times in the battle field and survived his wounds. Without any doubt, he was under the protection of God and his faith was his greatest strength to overcome adversities. George W. believed in the providence of God and taught such a belief to his own soldiers in the field of battle. While leading his forces defending this country during the French and Indian Wars, George W. led his men into religious services frequently.
During a period of two years, while he was the Commander in Chief of the forces defending the border in Virginia, he assumed responsibilities as the chaplain of his forces and also conducted worship services on Sundays for his men. George W. regularly attended Sunday services. His pastor, Lee Massey wrote, "I never knew so constant an attendant in church as George Washington.”
George Washington and the Constitution of the United States
George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison organized a convention in Philadelphia early in 1787. Together with 51 other delegates and 12 states reached an agreement to revise the Articles of Confederation and ended up drafting a new document, the Constitution of the United States of America. George Washington attended as a delegate from Virginia and served as convention’s president.
George Washington was instrumental in drafting the Declaration of Independence, which was signed by the thirteen States of the Union on July 4, 1776. George Washington was also instrumental for the following known principles written in this Declaration, “We hold these Trusts to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursue of Happiness.”
The Declaration of Independence concludes saying, “And for the support of this Declaration, with firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
References to the Creator and to the Divine Providence in the Declaration of Independence are clear testimonies that George Washington and other Founding Fathers were Americans of Faith.
George Washington was elected our first president of the United States of America in 1789 and he was credited with first adding the words "so help me, God" after the presidential inaugural oath. These words are not part of the Constitutional oath; but, became part of the oath taken by Presidents thereafter. George Washington brought dignity to the presidency and during his first term, Congress passed the Bill of Rights, the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution and established a system of Federal Courts.
Early in Washington's presidency, at the request of Congress, he issued the first official National Thanksgiving Proclamation on October 3, 1789. The proclamation was sent to the governors of the each of the states.
"This proclamation makes importance references to our liberties and to the Almighty. These references are highlighted as follows, “Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor…………… to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God…
NOW THEREFORE,………………. to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be;……………………………..……. for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed,…………………………………………………………………………..
And also… to pardon our national and other transgressions………..…......to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue…”
GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.
These are the words from George Washington, our first President, a President committed to God.
The book written by William Johnstone titled, George Washington the Christian, acknowledges several references about God in his writings as, Almighty being; Almighty God; All Powerful Guide; Author of all good; Creator, benign Parent of the Human Race; Divine Author of the Universe; God of Armies; Gracious God and others.
Many of those who knew George Washington wrote about him and his truly devout Christian values. One of them was John Marshall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court said about George Washington, “Without making ostentatious professions of religion, he was very sincere believer in the Christian faith, and a truly devout man.”
These are testimonies about George Washington’s devotion for his Faith and his influence in the birth of a Christian nation which are indicative of his character and love for the Almighty.
Do we have men in our government today as dedicated and truly Christians as George Washington? Where have we gone to elect men to public office without any commitment to God? Are we becoming naive and gullible and believe every politician running for office today and their false claims to be persons of Faith?
Americans of Faith, it is time for us to reverse course, to be cautious and find men with solid Christian values to lead this nation into this and future decades and restore “One Nation under God and indivisible.” Can we find men not afraid to express publically their love for God and without any hesitation to express their true Christian values? Can we find political leaders standing firm to restore prosperity in this nation? Can we find men like George Washington with a sense of morality, with integrity and secured of their Christian faith to lead this nation? Can we find men like George Washington to lead this nation, with pride and devoted to protect the Constitution and their Christian faith? Can we find men willing to fight for us to bring prayers and Bible studies back to the public school systems?
If you are really concerned about the future of this nation, take a stand with God and your country. When you attend church this week, pray for this nation and for our leaders; and, when you stand up from your seat and leave church, make a pledge to take an active role in politics to elect our leaders based on their commitment to our God, to our Constitution, to our family values and to keep our religious liberties. It is time for Americans of Faith to stop electing our political leaders based on fanaticism, charisma, good speeches and empty promises.
May the Lord bless you all and this great nation!
In preparing this article, NAFAPAC. TODAY has researched and extracted some information about George Washington already available in books, biographies and writings to bring a message about his Christian faith and his commitment to the Almighty.