Archives for October 2019

Grace Reformed Baptist Church, East Haven, CT

Pastor Mark Raines and his wife Abigail

On the Lord’s Day our PRTS tour group spent the day at nearby Grace Reformed Baptist Church, East Haven, Connecticut, being pastored by one of our alumni, Pastor Mark Raines (first picture, with Mark and Abigail Raines). Dr. Haykin and Roy Paul spoke on Jonathan Edwards’s later ministry and on his final years with the Native Americans at Stockbridge. I preached twice for the congregation combined with our tour group. The church also provided lunch for us between the services. We had a sweet time of fellowship. It was good to spend the day in God’s house of prayer in worship under His Word and in fellowship with believers. My right-hand helper on this trip, PRTS student Kenneth Kiambati (second picture, holding a baby) had a great day as this was his church family before coming to PRTS, so he received lots of hugs and renewed lots of ties.

Roger Williams

Dr. Haykin described the life of Roger Williams. He was best known for his church—state separation doctrine, despite his eccentricities which caused him to be rejected by the Puritans. He is also considered the founder of Rhode Island.

The Jabez Howland House

The Jabez Howland House
The Plimouth Plantation

From the Burial Hill cemetery in Plymouth, we went to the Jabez Howland House, which is the only house left in Plymouth where Pilgrims actually lived. The Howlands were God-fearing Pilgrims; Jabez became a very respected elder in the emigrant church. Their family tree is quite amazing; they had ten children and eighty grandchildren, and there have been two million descendants from them since then until now, including numerous well-known people like Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Gerald Ford, George Bush, Sarah Palin, etc. The tour of their home was fascinating (first picture).

From there, we went to the Plimouth Plantation, which provides numerous insights into the lives of the Pilgrims who were the first English people to settle in the early Plymouth colony. Native Americans play a variety of roles on the plantation and freely answer questions asked. In one home, we found an old copy of William Perkins’s “Golden Chaine” of salvation (second picture).

Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts

On Saturday, we went to Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts, where we saw the family burial grounds for William Bradford (first picture) and Adoniram and Abigail Judson (second picture). The cemetery is well kept up, and is placed in a very scenic setting. I gave two mini-lectures at the Bradford crypt on William Bradford and William Brewster. The dedication of the lives of these Pilgrims is both humbling and invigorating.

National Monument to the Forefathers

As the sun set Friday, we visited the National Monument to the Forefathers, the world’s largest granite sculpture. It commemorates the Pilgrims and the ideals they stood for, such as faith, liberty, peace, wisdom, justice, mercy, and others.

Pilgrim Hall Museum

William Bradford’s Geneva Bible
Statue of William Bradford

The Pilgrims came to the New World for religious freedom. Many died along the way. On Friday, we visited the Pilgrim Hall Museum, which holds many artifacts from the Mayflower, including William Bradford’s Geneva Bible. A statue stands in his memory. He was one of the framers of the Mayflower Compact and governed Plymouth Colony 30 years.

Gravesites of David Brainerd, Jerusha Edwards, and Solomon Stoddard

Gravesites of David Brainerd and Jerusha Edwards
Gravesite of Solomon Stoddard

From Edwards’s church in Northampton, our PRTS tour group went to the Bridge Street Cemetery in Northampton, where we were grateful to locate the side-by-side gravesites of David Brainerd and Jerusha Edwards (daughter of Jonathan and Sarah; first picture above), as well as the gravesites of Solomon Stoddard (Jonathan Edwards’s grandfather; second picture above) and his son John and their wives, and Timothy Dwight and many of his descendants. Dr. Haykin lectured at most of these sites for us, focusing especially on the godliness of David Brainerd and Jerusha Edwards. It was a moving and humbling time.

Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening

Yesterday afternoon we took the PRTS tour group to the church site in Northampton, Massachusetts where Jonathan Edwards preached from 1727 to 1750 at what is now First Church at Northampton. By the Spirit’s powerful grace, Edwards experienced two seasons of revival in those years that were a major part of the Great Awakening. In the first picture above, we took a group picture in front of this church. The second picture is an impressive sculpture of Edwards inside the church building. Dr. Haykin and I both gave lectures on Edwards to our tour group and we then sang a few classic psalms and hymns.

The Eliot Church of Natick, MA

The Eliot Church of Natick, MA

Next stop on our tour was Natick, Massachusetts, to visit the Eliot Church of Natick, where the famous Puritan missionary to the Native Americans, John Eliot, preached. He would go on to establish 14 ”Praying Indian” towns. Scholars estimate that 1100 of 3600 American Indians in these towns were converted through his Spirit-blessed preaching. This is also one of the oldest church sites in America and the first Meetinghouse was built here in 1651. This was my favorite place on the trip so far, as Eliot is one of my heroes.

George Whitefield’s Burial Site in Newburyport, MA

The home where George Whitefield delivered his last moving sermon

Next we traveled to Newburyport, Massachusetts to see the home where George Whitefield delivered his last moving sermon (first picture above) as well as his burial site under the pulpit of Old South First Presbyterian Church (second picture below).

George Whitefield’s burial site under the pulpit of Old South First Presbyterian Church

Did you know that 80% of Americans heard Whitefield preach at one point or another in the mid-18th century on at least one of his 13 trips across the ocean? Two guides led us through the history and I also gave a short lecture on Whitefield’s death and burial. This was a very moving, unforgettable visit.