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If you’ve never been, I suggest you go sometime to Jamestown, VA. It is one of the earliest English-speaking settlements in the new world, & it has been carefully restored so that we can see what life was like 350 years ago.

At Jamestown, you’ll discover many interesting things about our country. You’ll learn that when this settlement was first established, most of the people built rather humble huts for their families. But right in the middle of Jamestown they erected an imposing church building as a testimony to all who came, that the people of Jamestown put God first.

They had 2-hour worship services every day of the week, & attendance was mandatory. If you didn’t show up for the daily service, your day’s ration of food would not be given you. Their reasoning was, if you were too sick to go to church, you were too sick to eat.

They had a 5-hour service on Sunday, & you were expected to be there all 5 hours. If you missed church for 3 weeks, they would put you in stocks for 6 weeks out on the church lawn. The stocks are still there for all to see.

Maybe they went a bit too far. But it seems to me the lesson which comes through loud & clear is that in this original settlement, the people wanted to communicate clearly that God came first.

SOURCE: Melvin Newland in "To Reclaim Our Heritage" on

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