The Jamestown Children’s Memorial
By Douglas W. Phillips
The Jamestown Tercentenary Monument
Past generations have recognized the importance of using the occasion of historic anniversaries to raise up rocks of remembrance to the glory of God and His many providential blessings through the lives of our forefathers.
For the three hundredth anniversaries of both Jamestown and Plymouth, great markers and monuments were placed, some of which boldly invoked the name of the Lord and point to Holy Scripture. (See Plymouth in the Words of Her Founders: A Visitor’s Guide to America’s Hometown and Laird and Lee’s Guide to Historic Virginia and the Jamestown Centennial book, both published by Vision Forum.)
One example — the great 103-foot-tall Jamestown Tercentenary Monument — was erected by the United States in 1907. It bears the following inscription:
Lastly and chiefly the way to prosper and achieve good success is to make yourselves all of one mind for the good of your country and your own, and to serve and fear God the giver of all goodness, for every plantation which our heavenly father hath not planted shall be rooted out.
Advice of London Council for Virginia to the Colony 1606
Just yards away from the Tercentenary Monument is the beautiful Rev. Hunt Memorial Shrine, commemorating the first protestant Christian worship services in the New World. Not far from the shrine is the 1922 statue of America’s first baptized Christian convert — the princess Pocahontas. Around the corner in the Jamestown church, one can read markers of gratitude for the heroes of Jamestown, including another convert to Christianity named Chanco who saved the lives of many of the settlers.
All of these markers were placed by men and women of past generations who felt a burden to remind us — the children of their future — about the miracle of America and the providence of God.
But for America’s four hundredth birthday, there are no plans by the official committee to erect monuments of gratitude which give praise to the Lord for men of God like Rev. Hunt and Captain John Smith who brought Christianity to these shores.
And how can there be when the use of the word “celebration” has been banished from the official events out of embarrassment over our Christian forefathers? How can we expect praises to the Lord when our officials are afraid that mentioning the name of the Lord will be offensive?
Calling on the Grateful Children of America
Vision Forum and the Faith of Our Fathers Project are calling upon the grateful children of America to rectify this problem by taking advantage of an important moment in time. This is our opportunity to offer praise to the Lord for the mighty deeds He has done in the days of our forefathers.
We intend to place a monument of honor on the occasion of America’s four hundredth birthday as the event will be celebrated by thousands of families who we trust will be participating in the Jamestown Quadricentennial: A Celebration of America’s Providential History.
Paid for by the one-dollar donations of the children of this generation, the Jamestown Children’s Memorial will be a reminder to future generations that that we honored our fathers by raising rocks of remembrance on the anniversary of our nation’s birth. It will stand as a testimony to our children’s children, letting them know that we were a thankful people.
And we have much for which we should be thankful.
Jamestown was not only the first permanent English settlement in the New World, it was the spot where protestant Christian worship was brought to the new land. At Jamestown, we experienced our first Gospel conversion and Christian baptism. In fact, Jamestown is the site of the first “inter-racial” marriage in our history — the marriage of Englishman John Rolfe with the converted princess Pocahontas. The Jamestown Colony was birthed by Christian visionaries like Richard Hakluyt who desired to see the New World become a place for religious freedom and evangelism. Their dream ultimately became a reality. At Jamestown, Americans got their introduction to Christian common law and republican representative government. Though the legacy of Jamestown includes the mistakes of imperfect men, these imperfections only drive us to deeper appreciation for the mercy of the Lord and for His providence in the lives of these persevering forefathers.
The names of the grateful children donors for the Jamestown Children’s Memorial will be included in the commemorative event program for all donations received up to May 9, 2007. However, there is still time to make your donation and have the names included on the scroll that will be buried in the time capsule, at the unveling of the monument. To have your child’s name included on this roster, donations must be made by June 1, 2007.
A Monument that Glorifies God and Honors Our Fathers
Though plans are still being finalized, we believe the finished monument will be a granite edifice with four sides and a sculpting of Holy Scripture on top opened to Psalm 78. The present plan is to create a monument that will display Scripture, a list of key providential accomplishments, a quote from the Christian visionary behind Jamestown, and a message of gratitude left for future generations. The monument will be placed at a location of historic significance (to be revealed later) which is near Jamestown and by the James River.
Artists rendition of proposed quadricentennial monument actual design subject to change
The north side of the monument will read:
Jamestown’s Legacy of Freedom:
The Bible in America
Scripture-based Common Law
Republican Representative Government
The south side of the monument will read:
We, the grateful children of the twenty-first century, in gratitude to the Lord our God for the mercy and kindness bestowed upon the American people through His providential direction and care of our Jamestown forefathers, do hereby erect this monument on the four hundredth anniversary of the Jamestown Settlement.
Dedicated in the year of our Lord, June 15, 2007
The west side of the monument will read:
“Wee shall by plantinge there inlarge the glory of the gospel, and from England plante sincere religion, and provide a safe and a sure place to receave people from all partes of the worlds that are forced to flee for the truthe of God’s worde.”
Richard Hakluyt, Visionary Founder of Jamestown
The east side of the monument will carry an inscription that reads:
Honor Your Father and Mother that Thy Days May Be Long Upon the Land which the Lord Thy God Giveth Thee.
A Multi-generational Vision of Honor
Someday, the children of this generation will be parents. They will have children who in turn will have children. My question is this: How will they remember us?
One hundred years from now, America will celebrate its five hundredth birthday. It is our prayer that, on that great anniversary, the children of the twenty-second century will be inspired and encouraged to learn that a remnant of children from the twenty-first came forward to honor their forefathers and to give thanks to the Lord on the occasion of America’s four hundredth birthday celebration.
On that day in 2107 — should the Lord will it so — a time-capsule under the monument will be opened. In the time capsule will be a scroll with the names of all the children who stepped forward to honor their American forefathers by contributing one dollar to the Jamestown Quadricentennial Children’s Monument. Those names will be read. And perhaps, just perhaps, the great grandchildren of those donors will be present to give praise to the Lord, not just for America, but for the faith of their fathers.
Douglas W. Phillips, for the Faith of Our Fathers Project
The Faith of Our Fathers Project is a ministry of Vision Forum Ministries. It was established in 2005 to teach the younger generation to honor the fathers and mothers of the generations that came before them. This year, our efforts focus on the Jamestown Quadricentennial: A Celebration of America’s Providential History. The Jamestown Children’s Memorial is one expression of this effort. If you would like to make your own contribution of one dollar or more to the Jamestown Children’s Memorial, submit your donations online, or write to us at Vision Forum Ministries, Attn: Jamestown Children’s Memorial, 4719 Blanco Rd., San Antonio, TX 78212. We estimate the costs for the Jamestown Children’s Memorial to be approximately $30,000. Should donations exceed the amount needed for the monument, the excess funds will be used to support the the Jamestown Quadricentennial event. Make sure to give us the names of the children who are represented by the donation, if you want their names included in the time capsule. Please note: Plans for the shape, size, and text of the monument are still being finalized and are subject to modification.