Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday Fun!

Our Tuesday was pretty packed!  We spent quite a bit of time in the van traveling.  I spent quite a bit of time driving :)  It was brutally hot, so time in the van with air conditioning was not altogether a bad thing.  With so much time in the car, I had less opportunities to take random pictures.  Here is a small sampling of the fun that was to be had on Tuesday...

Lindsey and Calleigh sitting on the bank of Bath Creek in front of the Bonner House.  

I briefly mentioned in another post that Bath is famous for being the home of the notorious pirate Blackbeard. This historical marker is placed just down the street from the Bonner House.  I, for some unknown reason, kept getting poor Blackbeard's name wrong and called him Blackbird on more than one occasion, all to the hysterical delight of my traveling companions :)  They finally said that Blackbird must be Blackbeard's lesser known brother.  Whatever!

A small section of a house we toured was dedicated to Blackbeard.  The sketch of the pirate was decked out with a plastic sword which the kids found irresistible.  Elizabeth somehow managed to incur the wrath of Lindsey and Riley (maybe one of them was "Blackbird" LOL).  She also was the one who had to try and put the sword back where it belonged.  Most of the items in the gift shop had to deal with pirates.  Colin bought a Pirate Code of Ethics printed on parchment paper.  We brought our Captain Jack loving Aly home some shillings and a Pirate Treasure map.  Interesting note, Blackbeard's treasure was never found.  Dan said that might be our next field trip :)

No, Skyeler is not paying homage to some historical marker at the battleground.  I mentioned it was brutally hot on Tuesday, even in the late afternoon.  Skyeler thought the stone felt cool on her hot head :)

The Battle of Alamance

The Battle of Alamance site was our next destination.  We barely made it there in time.  Tuesday was our fullest travel day and rarely does everything go according to the schedule!  We pulled in fifteen minutes before the visitor center closed.  That was just enough time to see most of the video on the history of the battle.  Dan brought us here because many Baptists were involved in this battle. It is believed by some to be the first battle of the Revolutionary War, though fought well before Lexington and Concord.  Dan told the kids how during the Revolutionary War many of the Baptist that had been jailed for not conforming to the Church of England were released to fight in the war.  After the war, they were thrown in jail again.  This was a quick stop on our tour (and not just because we were running late).  

Another historical marker

The battlefield 

Across the road was this monument for the Battle of Alamance.

Sandy Creek Baptist Church

After leaving Bath we drove to Sandy Creek Baptist Church in Liberty, North Carolina.  It's really cool to see how events tie together here.  If you've read the previous posts, then you are familiar with George Whitefield. After he left Bath, he prayed that God would send someone to the southern colonies.  Enter a man named Shubal Stearns.  Shubal Stearns came to know Christ under Whitefield's preaching.  Cool!  Shubal Stearns was God's way of answering Whitefield's prayer.  God led Stearns to the middle of the wilderness of North Carolina.  He and 15 others began Sandy Creek Baptist Church.  The church grew to 600 then shortly dropped back down to about 16 as men felt the call of God to spread out and begin churches all over the southern colonies.  God doesn't do anything half-way!  

There were more than a couple monuments at this site.  The present day Sandy Creek Baptist Church stands right next to the graveyard where Shubal Stearns is buried.  

I tried to enlarge portions of the monuments so you could read for yourself  some of the history.  I'm not sure how well it will work on the blog, however.

This historical marker was on the side of the road.

This log house (church) was built in 1802.  It stands next door to Sandy Creek Baptist Church.  

Elizabeth, Skyeler, Lindsey, and Victoria in the upper balcony of the 1802 church.  It was around 98 degrees on Tuesday with a heat index around 120. It was so hot inside this old building that when we walked out into the 98 degree weather it felt cooler than when we went in!!

The new marker on Shubal Stearns grave

Elizabeth, Riley, Tori, Calleigh, and Lindsey looking at the new marker.

Calleigh and Dan looking at the original marker on the grave.  

It truly was amazing how the history all tied in and there is so much more that would take forever to write down here.  Seeing these places, walking where these men walked, knowing that they were filled with God's power, it was a bit overwhelming.  The pastor of Sandy Creek Baptist Church was very helpful (and we were grateful for their bathrooms!).  He was surprised that we would be bringing in a youth group, as they get very few youth in to see this history.  How sad!  If those who make up the future of our nation never learn, it might be forgotten.  I am glad Dan was burdened to teach our youth the importance of this special heritage.  

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bath, Day Two

When we visited Bath on Monday, we learned about George Whitefield and the curse he placed on the town.  This short phrase (above) about him appeared on the historical marker.  It mentions nothing about the curse.  Dan was curious whether or not the video we would see Tuesday about the town of Bath would mention either. Surprisingly, they not only mentioned Whitefield, but his curse on the town as well.  We all got a giggle at the end of the video when it mentioned that while Whitefield's curse that the town "remain small" came true, the residents liked it that way. I guess that's one way to put a good turn on it.  Dan had scheduled a couple historical house tours in Bath after the video.  We toured the houses and checked out the gift shop before leaving the town.

The Palmer-Marsh House

 The Bonner House

The beautiful view from the Bonner House.  Bath Creek and Back Creek meet at that point of land and run into the Pamlico River.  Riley, Lindsey, Victoria, Elizabeth, Calleigh, Skyeler, and Colin.

Riley, Lindsey, Victoria, Elizabeth, Calleigh, Skyeler, and Colin enjoying the breeze off the river on a sweltering hot day.

Carolina House

There are few hotels near Bath, North Carolina.  Dan had called around trying to find one that would fit our group.  He wasn't having any luck so he tried this Bed & Breakfast.  We were able to book the Bed & Breakfast for the same amount as the hotels would have cost.  All of us were pretty excited about this!  

The Carolina House Bed & Breakfast

Skyeler was thrilled to find a piano at the B & B.  This particular piano came all the way from Germany where it was used as a teaching piano for students.  

Riley and Colin having breakfast.

Tori and Elizabeth on the front porch.

The group with our hosts, Peter and Toni.  We were sorry that we had only a short time to spend here.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Monday Fun!

Dan said these kids can have fun with a paper bag  :) I think it's true!  Here are some miscellaneous pictures from our Monday travel day ...

We arrived in Richmond not knowing exactly where to park.  This parking spot seemed available and it was just down the street from St. John's Church.  It wasn't till after we all got out of the van that I noticed we had parked between a Porsche, a Jaguar, and a Mercedes :)  The van doesn't look out of place at all *grin*

Dan modeling a hat in the gift shop at St. John's Church.

Tori eating Fruit by the Foot.  

After checking into our Bed & Breakfast we went to get some dinner.  The restaurant (the only one in town) was quite full and we needed a buzzer.  It was shaped as a lobster.  They thought it was hilarious.  Tori named him Larry.

Waiting for dinner

 Dan, Tori, and Colin

Calleigh, Riley, Lindsey, Elizabeth, and Skyeler

This crab was across from the walkway that went along the Pamlico River in Washington, North Carolina.  It was a beautiful mosaic pattern. I was trying to get a group picture, but, well, when an opportunity arises for silliness, this group seizes the moment!

Finally, the silliness ends (for the moment, at least) and I can take a group picture.

Bath, Day One

After visiting Richmond and Chesterfield, Virginia, we hopped in the van ... well, I wouldn't call it "hopping," more like a slow crawl seeing as how these kids wouldn't win any awards for getting in and out of the van at a quick pace ... and drove to Bath, North Carolina.  Our guided tours and historical video were scheduled for Tuesday morning, so we took this opportunity to walk around the town before heading to the Bed & Breakfast.  Bath is the oldest town in North Carolina.  

These monuments tell about the history of Bath.  I will post a small portion from this monument in the "Bath, Day Two" post.

The kids in Bath.

The picture above the historical marker is the St. Thomas Church.  As you can see on the sign, it is the oldest church building in North Carolina.

The church building was open to tour.  Dan had planned on giving his historical lesson on Bath at the Bed & Breakfast later, but the kids all wanted him to do it inside the church building.  They were very attentive.

Dan's lesson was on George Whitefield.  Whitefield was a traveling evangelist who preached the Gospel both in England and the Colonies.  He made thirteen trips across the Atlantic Ocean.  Thirteen!  That's quite a number for the 1700's!  You might wonder why Whitefield was able to freely preach the Gospel when others like Weatherford were getting thrown in jail.  Whitefield wasn't a Baptist.  Whitefield was also filled with the power of God.  At this point you might be wondering what does this have to do with Bath.  George Whitefield visited Bath, North Carolina, preaching the Gospel.  The community of Bath was not receptive and wanted nothing to do with Whitefield or his God.  They had a profitable venture going on with another famous historical figure ... Blackbeard the Pirate ... and they were happy with their way of life.  Whitefield left the town and upon gaining the other side of the river asked God to curse the town never to grow.  Whitefield's Curse, as it came to be known, worked.  The town of Bath didn't prosper from that time forward.  

You'll need to remember Whitefield and the town not prospering for future posts!

Chesterfield Courthouse and Jail

When last I posted, you might have been wondering what Patrick Henry had to do with our Baptist History Tour.  In Chesterfield, Virginia we find the Baptist significance of Patrick Henry.  This monument is placed at the site of the Chesterfield Courthouse and Jail.  Here John Weatherford and six other Baptist ministers were imprisoned for preaching the Gospel. The Church of England was not pleased with these ministers and tried to stop them from preaching.  They assumed that throwing them in jail would stop not only their preaching but the Baptist movement from growing.  They assumed wrongly.  John Weatherford continued to preach from his jail cell and people continued to come and hear him.  Despite the attempts to hinder his listeners, like hornet's nests, snakes, drunken men on horseback, and a brick wall built in front of his cell window, Weatherford's church grew.  Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison defended these seven preachers in court and won their freedom.  The original jail and courthouse are no longer there.  Only this monument and the historical marker below remain.  

Riley, Calleigh, Skyeler, Lindsey, Victoria, Elizabeth, and Colin in front of the monument.

The courthouse as it is today.

The jail as it is today, built in 1842.  

 The group listening to Mr. Dan.  

The historical marker placed along the side of the road in front of the courthouse.

Below are the fun pictures we took at the site of the jail.  Some of the kids look a little better in the stocks than others :)