Independence Day – The 4th

Independence DayHave a Safe Holiday Weekend!

Church Office will be closed Wednesday, July 4th

Rest Week – July 2 – 7

No Noon Day or Midweek Bible Study.
Most ministry activities are canceled.

The Story of the Fourth of July

The Declaration of Independence

We celebrate American Independence Day on the Fourth of July every year. We think of July 4, 1776, as a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation.  But July 4, 1776 wasn’t the day that the Continental Congress decided to declare independence (they did that on July 2, 1776).  It wasn’t the day we started the American Revolution either (that had happened back in April 1775). And it wasn’t the day Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence (that was in June 1776). It wasn’t the date on which the Declaration was delivered to Great Britain (that didn’t happen until November 1776). And it wasn’t the date the Declaration was signed (that was August 2, 1776).

So what did happen on July 4, 1776?

The Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. They’d been working on it for a couple of days after the draft was submitted on July 2nd and finally agreed on all of the edits and changes.

July 4, 1776, became the date that was included on the Declaration of Independence, and the fancy handwritten copy that was signed in August (the copy now displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.) It’s also the date that was printed on the Dunlap Broadsides, the original printed copies of the Declaration that were circulated throughout the new nation. So when people thought of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 was the date they remembered.

In contrast, we celebrate Constitution Day on September 17th of each year, the anniversary of the date the Constitution was signed, not the anniversary of the date it was approved. If we’d followed this same approach for the Declaration of Independence we’d being celebrating Independence Day on August 2nd of each year, the day the Declaration of Independence was signed!

How did the Fourth of July become a national holiday?

For the first 15 or 20 years after the Declaration was written, people didn’t celebrate it much on any date. It was too new and too much else was happening in the young nation. By the 1790s, a time of bitter partisan conflicts, the Declaration had become controversial. One party, the Democratic-Republicans, admired Jefferson and the Declaration. But the other party, the Federalists, thought the Declaration was too French and too anti-British, which went against their current policies.

By 1817, John Adams complained in a letter that America seemed uninterested in its past. But that would soon change.

After the War of 1812, the Federalist party began to come apart and the new parties of the 1820s and 1830s all considered themselves inheritors of Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans. Printed copies of the Declaration began to circulate again, all with the date July 4, 1776, listed at the top. The deaths of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams on July 4, 1826, may even have helped to promote the idea of July 4 as an important date to be celebrated.

Celebrations of the Fourth of July became more common as the years went on and in 1870, almost a hundred years after the Declaration was written, Congress first declared July 4 to be a national holiday as part of a bill to officially recognize several holidays, including Christmas. Further legislation about national holidays, including July 4, was passed in 1939 and 1941.

…and that’s the story!


97th Church Anniversary

97th Church Anniversary Banner

St. John Church Family – Mark your calendars and plan to celebrate 97 amazing years of ministry and service. Yes, the St. John Church Family will celebrate our 97th Anniversary on Sunday, July 15, 2018 with the PLUNGE baptism service, following the 11 am service. Our guest is Dr. William Curtis of the Mount Ararat Baptist Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Attire is our church’s colors: blue and gold casual.

Join us following the 11am service as we will gather for the THE PLUNGE Baptism Service at the GP Campus. All candidates for baptism are encouraged to attend the class on Sunday, 7.8.18 at 9:00AM GP or 10:00AM SL.  Baptisms for the month of July, will take place during the  PLUNGE on 7.15.18 at GP campus

Sunday July 15, 2018 following 11am service

GP Campus – outdoor pool
 Are you thinking or are you ready to take the plunge – baptism?

Are you ready to make your personal decision a public declaration?

If you haven’t already and would you like to take this next step in your faith journey:
  1. Register for the “PLUNGE.”  The Plunge is our outdoor baptism service.  
  2. Attend the pre-plunge class on Sunday
  3. Check-in Sunday, July 15th for your pre-plunge preparation at 10:45AM at the Grand Prairie Campus
  4. Invite your family and friends to the “PLUNGE” baptism service immediately following our 11:00AM worship at the Grand Prairie Campus



Walk Through the Bible

VacationBibleSchool Walk Thru the Bible

Next Page »