The Asbury Revival, characterized by spontaneous and extended times of prayer and worship by students of Asbury University, and thousands of visitors to their campus, may seem strange to those whose Christianity is characterized by ritual and structured formality. However, there is nothing strange or weird about the Asbury Revival. It is, in fact, as American as baseball and apple pie. 

Such religious awakenings have been an integral part of the American experience from the nation’s inception. For example, the Pilgrims and other early immigrants to these shores came seeking a reformation of Christianity. In contrast to the cold, formalized orthodoxy of the state churches of Europe, they took the New Testament as their guide and preached a warm and personal faith that could be both known in the head and experienced in the heart.

After a time of spiritual backsliding by the children and grandchildren of those early immigrants, a Christian revival erupted in the eighteenth century that transformed colonial America. When, for example, twenty-four-year-old George Whitefield, a Methodist evangelist from Great Britain, preached from the courthouse steps in Philadelphia, it seemed the entire city turned out to hear him.

Benjamin Franklin, who became a close friend of Whitefield and printed and distributed his sermons, described the remarkable change that came over his hometown. He wrote,

The multitudes of all sects and denominations that attended his sermons were enormous. It was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants. From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seemed as if all the world were growing religious so that one could not walk through the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 79).

The same sort of revival erupted further north in New England. Jonathan Edwards, pastor of the Congregational Church in Northampton, wrote that, “the town seemed to be full of the presence of God.” He said the Spirit of God worked so powerfully that, “there was scarcely a single person in the town, old or young, left unconcerned about, the great things of the eternal world” (Hyatt, America’s Revival Heritage 2nd Edition, 42).

The revival seemed to spring up spontaneously and transform community after community. It was also spread by evangelists, such as Whitefield, who travelled up and down the eastern seaboard preaching that church membership would not save anyone, but we must be born again according to the words of Jesus in John 3:3. Everywhere they went the masses turned out to hear their Christ-centered message.

When, for example, Nathan Cole, a farmer in Massachusetts, heard that Whitefield would be preaching twelve miles away in Middletown later that same morning, he dropped his tools, called his wife, saddled their horse, and headed for Middletown. As they approached the main road  to Middletown, they saw a large cloud of dust in the air and then heard the thundering sound of hoofbeats.

The word had rapidly spread and the entire region, it seemed, was headed for Middletown to hear Whitfield preach. Cole later wrote, “The land and banks over the river looked black with people and horses all along the 12 miles. I saw no man at work in his field, but all seemed to be gone.” Cole was not disappointed and wrote,

And my hearing him preach gave me a heart wound. By God’s blessings, my old foundation was broken up, and I saw that my righteousness would not save me (Hyatt, 1726:The Year that Defined America, 79).

This ”Great Awakening,” as it came to be called, also impacted colleges, including one where many of America’s founders received their training. In a letter dated April 16, 1757, Samuel Finley, a trustee of the College of New Jersey, now Princeton University, wrote,

Our glorious Redeemer has poured out His Holy Spirit upon the students at our College. The whole house was a Bochim (place of weeping). Mr. William Tennant, who was on the spot, says that there never was, he believes, more genuine sorrow for sin and longing after Jesus (Hyatt, America’s Revival Heritage 2nd Edition, 81).

Among those who received their training at this college were 37 who became judges (three of whom served on the Supreme Court); 12 members of the Continental Congress; 28 senators; 49 congressmen; and James Madison, America's 4th president and chief architect of the U.S. Constitution.

This First Great Awakening was the first national event experienced by the thirteen divided colonies. Regional and cultural barriers were breached and for the first time they began to see themselves as one people—"one nation under God” as Whitefield had prayed and proclaimed. It was for this reason that the late Harvard professor, Perry Miller, said, “The Declaration of Independence of 1776 was a direct result of the preaching of the evangelists of the Great Awakening” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that DefinedAmerica, 67).

Christian revival seemed to have been imprinted in our national DNA, for in addition to countless local and regional revivals, America has experienced at least three subsequent Great Awakenings that have come at critical times in the life of the nation.

The Second Great Awakening renewed the faith of the nation and saved her from the negative, atheistic influences of the French Revolution. The Third Great Awakening, also called the Great Prayer Awakening of 1857-58, unleashed the spiritual and moral forces that carried the the nation through a Civil War. The Fourth Great Awakening--the Jesus Revival and Charismatic Renewal--saved the nation from the social and racial turmoil of the 1960s-70s.

Many are asking, “Will the Asbury Revival lead to another to another Great Awakening that will alter the course of the nation once again?” That remains to be seen, but one thing is certain. There is nothing weird or strange about the Asbury Revival. It is as American as baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie.

This article was derived from America's Revival Heritage and 1726: The Year that Defined America by Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt and available from Amazon and  his website at http://eddiehyatt.com.



At a time when slavery was accepted and practiced in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and throughout the world, there arose a movement against it in colonial America. One of the great intellects of our day, Dr. Thomas Sowell, who happens to be black, has written of this, saying,

Slavery was just not an issue, not even among intellectuals, much less among political leaders, until the 18th century–and then it was an issue only in Western civilization. Among those who turned against slavery in the 18th century were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and other American leaders. You could research all of 18th century Africa or Asia or the Middle East without finding any comparable rejection of slavery there (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 90).

This anti-slavery movement resulted in slavery in America having a short lifespan when compared to the rest of the world. The late Dr. Walter Williams, Professor of Economics at George Mason University, pointed this out saying that the unique characteristic of slavery in America was both the brevity of its existence and the moral outrage against it.

But what was the source of this moral outrage that arose against slavery in colonial America?

The Source of the Moral Outrage Against Slavery

The source of this sudden moral outrage against slavery is to be found in a Christian revival that became known as the Great Awakening. In this revival, that began in 1726, it seemed that entire towns repented and turned to God. In his Autobiography, Benjamin Franklin described the amazing transformation of his hometown of Philadelphia in 1739. He wrote,

It was wonderful to see the change soon made in the manners of our inhabitants. From being thoughtless or indifferent about religion, it seemed as if all the world were growing religious so that one could not walk through the town in an evening without hearing psalms sung in different families of every street (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 79).

In this revival, racial and cultural barriers were breached as blacks and whites worshipped together and shared the Good News to neighbors and friends regardless of race or social standing. For example, when George Whitefield, in 1739, preached night after night to thousands from the steps of the Philadelphia courthouse, blacks were part of the audience and there was no segregation.

After preaching his farewell sermon, many followed Whitefield to his place of lodging, including many blacks. He later recorded in his Journal, “Near 50 Negroes came to give me thanks for what God had done for their souls.” Whitefield considered this an answer to prayer, saying, “I have been much drawn in prayer for them, and have seen them wrought upon by the word preached”  (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 70).

Evangelists of the Great Awakening, in fact, found blacks to be among the most receptive to the Gospel message. Gilbert Tennent, for example, was delighted that during a preaching tour in Massachusetts, “Multitudes were awakened, and several received great consolation, especially among the young people, children, and Negroes” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 69).

Further south, Samuel Davies gave special attention to blacks, including slaves, during his time of ministry in Virginia. He was greatly encouraged by their enthusiastic response to the Gospel and wrote,

My principal encouragement of late has been among the poor negro slaves; in the land of their slavery they have been brought into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.

Davies not only preached to free blacks and slaves, but treated them as brothers and sisters in Christ, inviting them to share in regular church observances including the Lord’s Supper. In 1757 he wrote,

What little success I have lately had, has been chiefly among the extremes of Gentlemen and Negroes. Indeed, God has been remarkably working among the latter. I have baptized 150 adults; and at the last sacramental solemnity, I had the pleasure of seeing the table graced with sixty black faces (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 70).

Although these early evangelists did not attack the institution of slavery, the inclusive Gospel message they preached, and their compassionate treatment of blacks, created a climate conducive to the anti-slavery sentiments that would burst forth through the next generation of Awakening preachers.

Second Generation Awakening Preachers Attack Slavery

Indeed, the revivalists who came after Whitefield, Tennant, and Jonathan Edwards, carried the message of their predecessors to its logical conclusion. If we are all creatures of the same Creator and if Christ died that all might be saved, then how can slavery ever be justified?

They, therefore, began a vicious attack on the institution of slavery. This is what historian, Benjamin Hart, was referring to when he wrote, “Among the most ardent opponents of slavery were ministers, particularly the Puritan and revivalist preachers (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 92).

These "ardent opponents of slavery" included the followers of Jonathan Edwards who expanded on his idea of the essential dignity of all created beings and applied it to the blacks of Colonial America. They included Levi Hart in Connecticut, Edwards’ son, Jonathan Jr., also in Connecticut, Jacob Green in New Jersey, and Samuel Hopkins in Rhode Island.

The Hypocrisy of Demanding Liberty and Tolerating Slavery

Samuel Hopkins (1721–1803), who had been personally tutored by Edwards, pastored for a time in Newport, Rhode Island, an important hub in the transatlantic slave trade. Like Paul, whose spirit was “provoked” observing the idols in Athens, Hopkins was outraged by what he observed in Newport. He, therefore, began to passionately speak out against this "violation of God’s will” and declared, “This whole country have their hands full of blood this day" (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 92).

After the First Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia in 1774, Hopkins sent a pamphlet to every member of the Congress, asking how they could complain about “enslavement” to Great Britain and overlook the “enslavement” of so many blacks in the colonies.

Indeed, as “liberty” became a watchword throughout the colonies, these second-generation Awakening preachers began applying it to the enslaved blacks in America. Like Hopkins, they pointed out the hypocrisy of demanding freedom from Great Britain while enslaving black Africans. One of the most vocal was the Baptist preacher, John Allen, who thundered,

Blush ye pretended votaries of freedom! ye trifling Patriots! who are making a vain parade of being advocates for the liberties of mankind, who are thus making a mockery of your profession by trampling on the sacred natural rights and privileges of Africans (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 156).

God Speaks to Freeborn Garrettson

Freeborn Garrettson (1752-1827), a revivalist from Maryland, freed his slaves after hearing God speak to him supernaturally. According to Garrettson, he heard the Lord say, “It is not right for you to keep your fellow creatures in bondage; you must let the oppressed go free.” Garrettson immediately informed his slaves that they did not belong to him and that he did not desire their services without giving them proper compensation.

Garrettson began preaching against slavery and advocating for freedom, which provoked intense opposition, especially in the South. One enraged slave-owner came to the house where Garrettson was lodging and swore at him, threatened him, and punched him in the face. Garrettson did not retaliate but sought to reason with the man who finally gave up and left.

Garrettson took his message to North Carolina where he preached to black audiences and sought to “inculcate the doctrine of freedom in them.” His opposition to slavery was firmly rooted in the Gospel and he described a typical meeting with slaves in which,

Many of their sable faces were bedewed with tears, their withered hands of faith were stretched out, and their precious souls made white in the blood of the Lamb (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 95).

Garrettson also preached to southern white audiences and sought to convince them of the evils of slavery and that God’s will was liberty for all His creatures. In Delaware, Garrettson visited the Stokeley Sturgis Plantation and preached to both the slaves and the Sturgis family. He was able to convince Sturgis that slavery is a sin and Sturgis began making arrangements for his slaves to obtain freedom.

America's Black Founding Father

One of those who obtained his freedom was Richard Allen who had already been converted through the preaching of a Methodist evangelist when Garretson came on the scene. After obtaining his freedom, Allen set out to do what was burning in his heart – preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Allen, whom CBN correspondent, Paul Strand, calls “America’s Black Founding Father,” became a successful evangelist to both black and white audiences, further breaking down racial barriers. In 1784, he preached for several weeks in Radnor, Pennsylvania, to a mostly white audience, and he recalled hearing it said, “This man must be a man of God; I have never heard such preaching before.”

He eventually settled in Philadelphia and joined the Methodist church in that city. He also became close friends with Benjamin Rush, a Philadelphia physician, founding father, and signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Rush was also a passionate abolitionist who helped form America’s first abolition society in that city. He called slavery a “hydra sin” and admonished the ministers of America to take a bold, public stand against it, saying,

But chiefly—ye ministers of the gospel, whose dominion over the principles and actions of men is so universally acknowledged and felt, - Ye who estimate the worth of your fellow creatures by their immortality, and therefore must look upon all mankind as equal; let your zeal keep pace with your opportunities to put a stop to slavery. While you enforce the duties of “tithe and cumin,” neglect not the weightier laws of justice and humanity. Slavery is a Hydra sin and includes in it every violation of the precepts of the Laws and the Gospels (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 100-101).

However, by 1787 the spiritual fervor of the revival had waned among the Methodists in Philadelphia and the elders of the Methodist church decided to institute segregated seating based on race. When this became known, Allen and other blacks walked out, not knowing where they would go or what they would do. They knew, however, they could trust God and that they had a friend in Benjamin Rush.

Rush, who was a Presbyterian, came to their aid with both moral and financial support. This founding father assisted them in obtaining property and putting up a building in which to worship. This became known as the Bethel Methodist Church in Philadelphia out of which emerged the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) denomination, with Allen as the founder. Allen later wrote,

We had waited on Dr. Rush and Mr. Robert Ralston, and told them of our distressing situation. We considered it a blessing that the Lord had put it into our hearts to wait upon those gentlemen. They pitied our situation, and subscribed largely towards the church, and were very friendly towards us and advised us how to go on . . . Dr. Rush did much for us in public by his influence. I hope the name of Dr. Benjamin Rush and Mr. Robert Ralston will never be forgotten among us. They were the two first gentlemen who espoused the cause of the oppressed and aided us in building the house of the Lord for the poor Africans to worship in. Here was the beginning and rise of the first African church in America (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 156).

America’s Founders Turn Against Slavery

Because of the power of the Awakening, and the “moral outrage” it produced against slavery, virtually every founder came to agree with John Adams who wrote,

Every measure of prudence . . . ought to be assumed for the eventual total extirpation of slavery from the United States. I have throughout my whole life held the practice of slavery in abhorrence (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 101).

Two years before the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin released his two slaves and began to advocate for Abolition. He joined the Abolition Society in Philadelphia and later served as its president.

In fact, opposition to slavery was so strong in the North that, when the separation from England came in 1776, several states, including Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York immediately took steps to abolish slavery—something they could not do under George III.

George Washington was born in the South and inherited a large plantation with numerous slaves. The first evidence of the power of the Awakening on his thinking was during the War for Independence. Serving as commander-in-chief, Washington welcomed free blacks into the ranks, which resulted in one out of every six soldiers being of African descent. Blacks and whites fought together for freedom from Great Britain.

Confronted with the inconsistency of a Christian testimony with owning slaves, Washington set up a compassionate program to completely disentangle Mt. Vernon from the institution of slavery. Those slaves who wanted to leave were free to do so. Those who chose to remain were paid wages, and he began a program to educate and prepare the children of slaves for freedom. He declared,

Not only do I pray for it, on the score of human dignity, but I can clearly foresee that nothing but the rooting out of slavery can perpetuate the existence of our union by consolidating it in a common bond of principle (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 103).

Deciding that slavery was wrong, however, was easier than deciding what to do with two million people from another continent and culture who were unprepared for freedom. In the end, concessions were made to the southern states, and slavery allowed to continue, in order to bring them into the Union. Sowell has said,

But don’t pretend that it was an easy answer—or that those who grappled with the dilemma in the 18th century were some special villains when most leaders and most people around the world saw nothing wrong with slavery. It is clear from the private correspondence of Washington, Jefferson, and many others that their moral rejection of slavery was unambiguous, but the practical question of what to do now had them baffled. That would remain so for more than half a century (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 10).

That even the founders from the South struggled deeply about the slavery issue is clear from the statement of Thomas Jefferson, made in the context of slavery being allowed to continue in the South. He wrote,

God who gave us life, gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just and that His justice cannot sleep forever (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 125).

Colorblind Founding Documents

The founders’ moral rejection of slavery is obvious in the founding documents, which contain no mention of slaves or slavery. This was purposeful, for James Madison, the chief architect of the Constitution, said, “The Convention thought it wrong to admit in the Constitution the idea that there could be property in men."

Neither is there any mention of race or skin color in the founding documents. They purposely worded the Constitution in such a way that the rights guaranteed therein could not be denied to anyone based on race, ethnicity, or skin color. Yes, America’s founding documents are colorblind even if her history has not been.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. understood this. In his “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he declared,

When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

King did not want America to dispense with her founding documents, but to live up to them. Quoting from the Declaration of Independence, he said,

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 121).

Many today are insisting that America was founded on racist principles. They are wrong. David Azerrad was correct when he said, “The argument that the Constitution is racist suffers from one fatal flaw: the concept of race does not exist in the Constitution” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 127).

America Defined by 1726

Although it would take a Second Great Awakening (ca. 1800- ca. 1830), a Great Prayer Awakening (1857-58), and a Civil War (1861-1865) to bring final closure, the back of slavery was broken in that first Great Awakening that began in 1726, and America was defined as a land of liberty.

Contrary to this 1726 vision, many today are claiming that America was forever defined by 1619 when the first African slaves were brought to these shores. Interpreting everything through the lens of 1619, they insist that America is fatally flawed and racist at her very core.

America could have been defined by 1619, but there was 1726. Those who see America through the lens of 1726 believe that God has a divine purpose for this land, even though flawed by human sin. Dr. King expressed this in his “I Have a Dream” speech when he declared, “I have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.”

Recovering this 1726 paradigm of America’s history is critical, for as George Orwell said in his classic book, 1984, “Whoever controls the past, controls the future.” And commenting on the demise of nations in world history, Carl Sandburg, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, said,

When a nation goes down, or a society perishes, one condition may always be found; they forgot where they came from. They lost sight of what had brought them along (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 11).

America was birthed out of a great Christian revival and recovering the knowledge of what happened, beginning in 1726, is paramount to understanding our history. 1726 broke the back of slavery and marked a new beginning for this land. 1776 would never have happened apart from 1726, for it was the revival that unleashed the desire for liberty throughout the land.

Let us, therefore, remember 1726 and pray, “Lord, do it again!” 

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's book, 1726, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. He is also the founder of the "1726 Project" whose goal is to spread the message of America's unique birth out of the First Great Awakening and call on believers everywhere to pray for another Great Awakening across the land.



Monday February 20 is “Presidents Day,” a federal holiday honoring America’s two greatest presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Washington led the nation to victory in its war for independence from Great Britain and served as her first president. Lincoln led the nation through its most grave and dangerous time--a divisive and horrifying Civil War.

Both men believed faith and freedom to be Siamese twins and that freedom could only survive if coupled with a living faith. Neither was shy in publicly declaring their conviction of faith in God being essential for the stability and success of the nation.

George Washington

Washington took every opportunity to point the American people to God as the key to their peace and happiness. Shortly after the surrender of the British at Yorktown, he penned a letter to the governors of the various states in which he exhorted them to make Jesus Christ their example for life and morals. He wrote,

I now make it my earnest prayer that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection; that he would incline the hearts of the citizens . . .  to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another . . . and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind, which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of His example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 120).

Shortly after becoming president, Washington issued a proclamation for a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer. The purpose of this Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer was, he said,

That we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the Great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national sins and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all people (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 134).

In his first inaugural address, which was filled with references to God, Washington clearly stated his belief in the necessity of a living faith for national stability. He warned, “The propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the external rules of order and right, which heaven itself has ordained” (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots 2nd Edition, 173).

Abraham Lincoln

God did bless America and the new nation quickly rose to prominence among the nations of the world. Succeeding generations, however, became smug and prideful in their prosperity and did not use their new-found power to free those who were enslaved in their midst. Judgement came and a horrible Civil War began that could have forever destroyed America.

Abraham Lincoln, however, recognized the root of the problem. In the midst of the Civil War, he called the nation back to God by issuing a proclamation designating April 30, 1863, as a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer. In this proclamation he rebuked the nation for its smugness and self-sufficient pride, saying,

It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon.

But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.

Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us (Hyatt, 1726: The Yearthat Defined America, 184-86)!

Does that not describe America today! Lincoln went on to say,

It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness . . . and I do, by this proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th day of April 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer.

And I do hereby request all the people to abstain on that day from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.

All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the nation will be heard on high and answered with blessing no less than the pardon of our national sins and the restoration of our now divided and suffering country to its former happy condition of unity and peace.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. By the President: Abraham Lincoln (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 184-86).

It is an historical fact that immediately after this day of prayer and repentance, the war shifted in favor of the Union, and the war was soon brought to an end by the Battle of Gettysburg. National repentance and prayer changed the course of history.

Here’s What They Would Say Today

Washington and Lincoln would be appalled at how America has turned her back on God. They would be shocked that prayer and Bible reading have been banned in public schools and other public venues. They would be outraged that Christian symbols have been ordered removed from federal property and at the general animosity shown toward people of faith.

They would be shocked that the Democrat National Committee (DNC), the governing body of the party now in power, has unanimously passed a resolution affirming atheism and declaring that neither Christianity nor any religion is necessary for morality and patriotism.

Even from the above brief summary of their faith, it is clear what the nation’s two greatest presidents would say to this generation. They would shout with great concern, “AMERICA, TURN BACK TO GOD!”

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is the author of several books on America’s overt Christian origins out of spiritual awakening. These books include Pilgrims and Patriots 2nd Edition, America’s Revival Heritage and 1726: The Year that Defined America, available from Amazon and his website at http://eddiehyatt.com.



Having examined the role of revival in the founding of America, I want to offer some observations concerning the Asbury Revival and point out potential parallels with the First Great Awakening, which had a direct bearing on the founding of America.

The revival at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky has revived the hopes of many that America is on the verge of another Great Awakening. February 22 is George Washington’s birthday and there is something very instructive from the life and career of Washington that potentially runs parallel to the revival that has erupted at Asbury, and is now spreading to other colleges and universities.

Here is the potential parallel I am suggesting. Washington and his fellow Founders were prepared for their historic role in the founding of America by the First Great Awakening. Since the current revival is occurring on college and university campuses, is it possible that God is sending another Great Awakening to prepare a new generation of leaders for a rebirthing in America?

There is no question that Washington and every Founding Father were, to one degree or another, impacted by the First Great Awakening. The late Harvard professor, Perry Miller, said, “The Declaration of Independence of 1776 was a direct result of the preaching of the evangelists of the Great Awakening” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 105).

Benjamin Rush (1746-1813), a Philadelphia physician, member of the Continental Congress, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, attributed the development of his thinking and ideals to the preachers of the Great Awakening. In his Autobiography, Benjamin Franklin (1706-90) tells of his friendship with the most famous preacher of the Awakening, George Whitefield, and how he attended his meetings and financially supported his ministry (Hyatt, America’s Revival Heritage, 69).

Washington's Deep and Living Faith

Although he never mentions the Great Awakening per se, Washington’s life, prayers, and faith are characteristic of those whose lives were dramatically transformed during the Awakening. It is a fact that the Awakening, which began in 1726, had a particularly profound impact on the state of Virginia where Washington was born on February 22, 1732.

This was confirmed by Charles Hodge (1797-1878), Professor of Biblical Literature and Systematic Theology at Princeton University, who gave an account of the Awakening in a pamphlet he wrote on the history of Presbyterian Church in America. He said, “In no part of our country was the revival more interesting, and in very few was it so pure as in Virginia” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 131).

Among the many indications of Washington having been profoundly impacted by the Awakening is a little prayer book that was discovered among his personal belongings in 1891. Called Daily Sacrifice, it is filled with daily prayers in Washington’s handwriting when he was in his twenties. One of the first entries reads,

Direct my thoughts, words, and work, wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the Lamb, and purge my heart by Thy Holy Spirit . . . daily frame me more and more in the likeness of Thy Son Jesus Christ (Hyatt, America’s Revival Heritage, 72).

Commenting on this prayer book, Professor S. F. Upham, of Drew Theological Seminary, wrote,

The “Daily Prayers” of George Washington abound in earnest thought, expressed in simple, beautiful, fervent, and evangelical language. They reveal to us the real life of the great patriot and attest to his piety. The prayers are characterized by a deep consciousness of sin and by a need for forgiveness, and by a recognition of dependence upon the merits and mercies of our Lord (Hyatt, 1726:The Year that Defined America, 132-33).

It is, therefore, not surprising that when Washington was commissioned as commander-in-chief of the colonial army, one of his first acts was to issue an  order that each day was to begin with prayer led by the commanders of each unit. He also forbade profanity, swearing, gambling and drunkenness and expressed his desire that, “Every officer and man will endeavor so as to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier” (Hyatt, 1726:The Year that Defined America, 114).

Rev. Henry Muhlenberg (1711–1787), pastor of a Lutheran Church adjacent to Valley Forge where Washington and is men were quartering one winter, observed Washington’s activities and wrote, “Washington rode around among his army yesterday and admonished each one to fear God” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 115).

A Jesus-Centered Faith

After the surrender of General Cornwallis at Yorktown, Washington sent a letter, dated June 14, 1783, to the governors of the various states in which he urged them to make Jesus their role model for life. He exhorted that we must all,

Demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind, which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of His example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 120).

In a meeting with chiefs from the Delaware tribe, Washington politely and boldly recommended Jesus to them as the key to their happiness. The Chiefs had come to meet with Congress, and they brought with them three of their youth, asking that they be educated in American schools.

Washington addressed the chiefs as “Brothers” and expressed his hope that the Delaware would “become one people with your brethren of the United States.” He assured them that Congress would look upon their youth “as their own children.” He then said,

You do well to wish to learn our arts and our ways of life and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 172).

Many historians recognize in Washington and the Founders an unusual collection of brilliant individuals at one time in history. Even Frederick Douglass, the former slave and famous abolitionist, lauded the Founders in a July 4th, 1852 speech, saying,  

I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this Republic. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men too—great enough to give fame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men (Hyatt, America’s Revival Heritage, 86).

This Awakening Could be Historic

The First Great Awakening played a vital role in preparing Washington and his colleagues for their historic role in birthing the United States of America. With this present Awakening impacting young people on college and university campuses, let us pray with faith and hope that God will raise up a new generation of leaders for a rebirthing of America.

Dr. Eddie L. Hyatt is an author, historian, and Biblical scholar who has written extensively about America's history of Spiritual Awakenings. This article was derived from his books America's Revival Heritage and 1726: The Year that Revived America, available from Amazon and his website at http://eddiehyatt.com



In her official response to President Biden's State of the Union address, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “The dividing line is no longer between right and left; the choice is between normal and crazy.” She said this to highlight the damaging consequences of the Democrat Party’s rejection of Christian morality and common sense. Democrats were not happy.


In an interview with Sean Hannity immediately following Sanders’ response, Geraldo Rivera demanded to know what Sanders and Republicans consider “normal.” “Is it Marjorie Taylor Greene?” he asked, referring to the Congresswoman from Georgia who is deeply despised and hated by Democrats.

I can answer Geraldo’s question. I have followed Sanders’ career long enough to know what she considers to be the standard for “normal.” It is the same standard that was held by America’s founders, and is the standard Geraldo and the Democrat Party have openly rejected.

For Sanders and America’s founders, the standard for “normal” is Jesus and His teachings. For example, in a June 14, 1783 letter from George Washington to the governors of the various states, he urged them to make Jesus their moral standard  and follow His example. He exhorted that we all must,

Demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind, which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of His example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 120).

Thomas Jefferson also considered Jesus to be the moral standard for “normal.” He once said, “I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus.” As president, he closed all official correspondence with the words, “In the year of our Lord, Christ.” He also said, “Of all the systems of morality that have come under my observations, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Revived America149-50).

Benjamin Rush was a founding father, Philadelphia physician, and signer of the Declaration of Independence. He wanted  the teachings of Jesus to pervade every area of American society. To emphasize his Christ-centered focus, he  once said, “I have been alternately called an Aristocrat and a Democrat. I am neither. I am a Christocrat” (Hyatt, 1726:The Year that Revived America, 156). 

It is obvious that when America’s founders speak about morality, they are talking about the morality of Jesus and the New Testament. This is the case with John Adams who, in a 1798 speech, said, ” Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other” (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Revived America, 168).

This is not to say that past generations lived up to the moral standard of Jesus. Certainly not! However, because the standard was everywhere acknowledged, society was pulled in the right direction. As a result, slavery was ended, Jim Crow was defeated, the "evil" Soviet empire was brought down, and the nation prospered. 

Sadly, Geraldo and the Democrat Party have rejected the “normal” of Sanders and America’s founders. In 2019 the Democrat National Committee (DNC) unanimously passed a resolution affirming atheism and declaring that neither Christianity nor any religion is necessary for morality and patriotism. 

In their postmodern worldview, “normal” is relative and is whatever “I” decide it to be. Such an egocentric worldview, however, can only lead to chaos and the disintegration of society, which we are seeing happen before our very eyes. 

In this new amoral “normal” of Geraldo and the Democrat Party, anything goes. Men can use women’s restrooms and locker rooms and compete in women’s sports. They only have to declare, “I am a woman.” School children are told there are numerous genders from which they can choose and that men can have babies and women can be fathers. This is the “crazy” to which Sanders referred.

America must have a Jesus Revival that turns the nation back to Him as the "normal" for individuals and society. As Paul said to the believers in the pagan city of Corinth, Imitate me as I also imitate Christ. (I Corinthians 11:1). Let's bring back the bracelets and attire of a past decade that carried the inscription WWJD meaning, "What would Jesus do?"

As we pray for such a revival, let us also pray that God will raise up a new generation of political leaders who, like Sanders, Washington, and Jefferson, will once again make Jesus and His teachings the moral standard for what is “normal.” Only then will America ever be great again and a blessing to the nations.

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is an author, historian, and Bible teacher with a vision for another Great Awakening in America and around the world. He has written several books on the topic including 1726: The Year that Defined America, which was used in the writing of this article.



I heard Robert Morris, Senior Pastor at Gateway Church in Southlake, TX, tell of an individual approaching him and saying, “You have a lot of good leaders around you, but you don’t have a prophet.” Morris said he replied, “I don’t need a prophet; I have the Holy Spirit.”

Morris obviously understands the great difference between the function of prophecy under the Old Covenant and now under the New. With the inauguration of the New Covenant and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, everything changed. Understanding this change is vital for the contemporary church to walk in truth and experience the fulness of prophetic ministry.  

We Must Shift Our Thinking

In the Old Testament, the work of the Holy Spirit was confined and limited to certain prophets, judges, and kings such as Moses, Deborah, Gideon, Samuel, David, and Elijah. The masses had neither the Bible nor the Holy Spirit, and so had to enquire of a prophet in order to hear from God.

Old Testament prophets, however, spoke of  a coming change. Moses, for example, expressed a desire that the time would come when, All the LORD'S people were prophets and that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them (Num. 11:29). God spoke through Joel of a time when this would happen, saying, I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh and your sons and your daughters will prophesy . . . (Joel 2:28:32; Acts 2:15-18).

That this change occurred at Pentecost is borne out by the fact that in the New Testament, there is not a single example of someone seeking out a “prophet” to hear from God. Neither is there a single example of Paul, or any New Testament writer, instructing their readers to seek out the “prophets” in their midst to hear from God. The time has obviously arrived for the words of Jeremiah to be fulfilled. He wrote,

No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more (Jeremiah 31:34).

With the coming of the Messiah, His redemptive work, and the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost, a new era dawned. The ministry of the prophet was not discontinued but was expanded to include the entire believing community. This is what the late, Dr. Roger Stronstad, called “the prophethood of all believers.” In discussing Luke’s description of the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, Stronstad says,

Here in Luke’s narrative, for the first time ever in the redemptive history of God’s people, those people truly function as a nation of prophets—the prophethood of all believers (Hyatt, Prophets and Prophecy, 106).

A Nation of Prophets

Some will surely ask, “But what about certain individuals like Agabus and Silas who are referred to as “prophets” in the book of Acts?” First of all, note that they are never called “Prophet Agabus” or “Prophet Silas.” The word is never used as a title to designate office but is always used to designate function.

We should also note that when Agabus prophesied of the danger awaiting Paul in Jerusalem, he ignored the prophecy and proceeded on to Jerusalem (Acts 21:9-15). The key to Paul's decision to ignore both the prophecy and the pleadings of those present that he not go to Jerusalem, is found in Acts 19:21 where he earlier had "purposed in the Spirit" to go to Jerusalem. He trusted his own internal sense of the Spirit's guidance over the opinions and prophecies of others. He was living out the New Covenant reality.

Dr. Gordon Fee is surely correct when he says that those who are referred to as “prophets” in the New Testament are merely those who prophesy more than other members of the prophetic community. For example, it is obvious that in Paul’s use of the noun “prophet” in I Corinthians 14:29-32, he is using functional language meaning “the one who has a prophecy.” Although some think he is referring to a special group of “prophets,” it is obvious that the whole community--a nation of prophets-- is being addressed.

This is confirmed by the fact that the letter is addressed to the entire church in Corinth (I Corinthians 1:1-2). No leader, apostle, or prophet is singled out. Not only is it addressed to the entire church, but inclusive language is used throughout, such as in 14:32, where he says, For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. Fee comments on this passage, saying,

This does not mean, of course, that all will or do prophesy. It is simply to note that Paul’s concern here is not with a group of prophets, but with the functioning of prophecy in the assembly. The noun “prophets,” therefore, is to be understood as functional language similar to the use of interpreter in v. 28 (Hyatt, Prophets and Prophecy, 109).

In this post-Pentecost setting, Paul assumes that they all have the Spirit of God. Therefore, they “all” may prophesy and “all” have a responsibility to judge and evaluate what is prophesied (I Corinthians 14:29). Paul’s emphasis is on everyone living in the Spirit, adhering to the Scriptures, loving one another, listening to one another, and keeping Christ central.

A Truth Whose Time Has Come

For Pastor Morris to have taken on a "prophet" to hear from God for him and his congregation, would have been reverting to an Old Testament pattern that is over and done with. In the same way that we do not need a special priest to go to God on our behalf, we do not need a special prophet to act as God’s mouthpiece for us. 

Martin Luther restored to the church the truth of the “priesthood of all believers.” Perhaps it is time for a restoration of the truth of the “prophethood of all believers.”

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is an author, historian, and Bible teacher with a vision for another Great Awakening in America. His book, 1726: The Year that Defined America, lays out the basis for expecting such an Awakening. The above article was derived from his book, Prophets and Prophecy, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.