August 3, 2022
The Huntingdon Woman’s Club opened their first meeting of the year on August 3 at the historic Long Rock Church with Mrs. Glenn Tippitt serving as hostess. Due to an issue with food service, the club voted to serve only refreshments for the coming year. Mrs. Tippitt welcomed everyone with a devotion taken from Acts 2 about the Holy Spirit entering the church and closed it with the blessing. The ladies enjoyed a slice of Toffee Oreo cake, ham dip and crackers, nuts and candies on the color scheme of hunter green and rose.
President Mrs. Billy Cary opened the business meeting. The roll was called and the minutes of March 30, 2022 were read and approved.
The program this year is titled “The Great Awakening”. We will be discussing the Great Revivals from the 1700’s till the 1960’s and how it changed everything for America. We will see the connection between religion in America today and in the eighteenth century, and learn about the life of the protestant ministers who influenced this movement.
Mrs. Tippitt spoke on the First Great Awakening that occurred in 1740-1742. The Great Awakening is a religious revival that took place in the American Colonies that began in the 1720’s and continued until 1760’s. Many of the early puritans and pilgrims arrived in America with a fervent faith and vision for establishing a Godly nation. They came to the new world to enjoy religious freedom, but as the land became tamed and prosperous, they no longer relied on God for their daily bread. Within 100 years their zeal for God had cooled a bit.
The children of the original immigrants were more concerned with increasing wealth and comfortable living than furthering the kingdom of God. Wealth brought complacency toward God. As a result, church membership dropped. The religious leaders of this time had slacked off on the requirements of a covenant just to increase the membership of the churches. The churches were now attended largely by people who lacked a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Sadly, many of the ministers themselves did not personally know Christ and therefore could not lead the flocks to the true shepherd. The colonies were influenced by the European philosophical movement known as “The Enlightenment” or the “Age of Reason” that was making its way across the Atlantic Ocean to the colonies. Enlightenment thinkers emphasized a scientific and logical view of the world, while downplaying religion. Many Christians were feeling disillusioned with their methods of worship and began to crave a return to religious piety. The thirteen colonies were very religiously divided at this time. Most of New England belonged to the Congregational Churches. The Middle Colonies were made up of Quakers, Anglicans, Lutherans, Baptist, Presbyterians, The Dutch Reformed and the Congregational followers. The Southern Colonies were mostly members of the Anglican Church, but there were also many Baptists, Presbyterians and Quakers.
Some of the influential groups during the Great Awakening were the “New Lights” and the “Old Lights”. A debate over this awakening divided the New England ministry and many colonists into two factions. Preachers and followers who embraced the new ideas brought forth became distinguished as “New Lights” and those who affirmed the old fashioned, traditional church ways were designated “Old Lights”. The pulling away from ritual and ceremony made religion intensely personal to the average person by giving them a deep sense of commitment to a new standard of personal morality. It changed their rituals, their piety, and their self-awareness.
This Great Awakening represented the first time African Americans and women could embraced Christianity in large numbers. Denominational barriers broke down as Christians of all persuasions worked together in the cause of the gospel. There was a renewed concern with missions, and work among the Indians increased. A concern for higher education grew as men prepared for service as Christian ministers, therefore, Princeton, Rutgers, Brown, and Dartmouth Universities were all established as a direct result. The significant working of God at this time was far-reaching. Truly converted members now filled the pews. Hundreds of new churches were formed to accommodate the new growth. For the first time, the individual colonies had a commonality with the other colonies. They were joined under the banner of Christ. This unity gave them strength to face the impending danger of war with England. The motto of the Revolutionary War was “NO King but King Jesus”!
A quote from Benjamin Franklin says, “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 being sung in different families of every street.”
Our next four programs will show some of the influential people during this amazing time in history. This study is just a touch of what formed our nation and just a few of the people involved. We would not be America today if the states had not come together in unity to stand up to the British Empire. Thirteen little states beat a big global empire through togetherness and through God’s plan for a nation.
The next meeting will be held on August 17, 2022 with Mrs. Doug Pruitt sharing about Theodore Frelinghuysen, a Dutch Reformed pastor in the Great Awakening of the 1700’s.
President – Mrs. Billy Cary
Secretary – Mrs. Glenn Tippitt