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March 27, 2012

Colonial Williamsburg’s Religion Month Programs Explore How Religion Shaped the American Identity

April is Religion Month in Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and Art Museums. Colonial Williamsburg explores the role of religion in the making of the American identity. Programs highlight the presence of religion in 18th-century society and illustrate how it figured into the American Revolution.

A new program being introduced this year is “Duty and Faith.” In 1791, discover how faith has changed wealthy planter Robert Carter’s relationship to slavery at 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays, April 3-24 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. This program is included in Historic Area or museum admission.

Other programs that are the focus of Religion Month include:

  • Meet a Nation Builder: Ann Wager discusses the Bray School for African American Children and its mission to teach enslaved children in Williamsburg. Meet the school’s mistress and learn about her hopes and aspirations for her students’ academic achievements at 10 a.m. on Mondays, April 2-30 at the Mary Stith House. This program is included in Historic Area admission.
  • God Hath Made Us Free presents a sermon in the 18th-century chapel of the College of William and Mary at 11 a.m. Mondays, April 2-30 at the Wren Chapel. No ticket is required to see this program.
  • Martha Washington: Woman of Faith explores how her faith got her through the loss of her first husband and two of her children before her marriage to George Washington at 12:30 p.m. Mondays, April 2, 9, 23 and 30 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. This program is included in Historic Area and museum admission.
  • Faith of a Nation Builder: Gowan Pamphlet invites guests to learn about the popular 18th-century preacher’s view on religion at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays, April 3-24 at the Governor’s Palace. This program is included in Historic Area admission.
  • Champions of Church and Change invites guests to listen to the Rev. Mr. Jarratt and the Rev. Mr. Camm as they discuss their differences regarding the duties of the church amidst the revolutionary changes taking place in 18th-century Virginia at 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays, April 4-25 at the Wren Building at the College of William and Mary. The program is included in Historic Area or museum admission.
  • Jefferson and Henry Debate the Relation of Church and State presents bills concerning religion before the Virginia legislature in 1784 at 12:30 p.m. Thursdays, April 5-26 at the Kimball Theatre. The program is included in Historic Area admission.
  • Gospel of Liberty, a video produced by Colonial Williamsburg, re-creates for students of American independence the fire of George Whitefield, the zeal of the Reverend Samuel Davies and their pursuit of the right to worship according to one's convictions. Thomas Jefferson guides viewers to understand how the axiom that government ought not legislate belief became a fundamental pillar of American democracy. This video can be seen at 1:30 p.m. Thursdays, April 5, 12, 19 and 26 and 4 p.m. Fridays, April 6, 13, 20 and 27 and Saturdays, April 7, 14 and 28 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • The Player and the Pulpit explores whether theater is a moral academy or the devil’s chapel. Hear sermons and letters from both sides brought to life as theater’s place in society is examined at 10:30 a.m. Fridays, April 6-27 at the Play Booth Theatre. This program is included in Historic Area admission.
  • God Is My Rock invites guests to learn about Gowan Pamphlet’s perspective on slavery, religion and freedom at 12:30 p.m. Fridays, April 6, 20 and 27 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The program is included in Historic Area and museum admission.
  • Link Among the Days tells the story of how Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin's dream to restore Williamsburg to its 18th-century appearance and how he helped the dream become a reality. This video can be seen at 3 p.m. Fridays, April 6, 13, 20 and 27 and Saturdays, April 7, 14 and 28 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. This program is included in Historic Area and museum admission.
  • Faith of a Nation Builder: Thomas Jefferson invites guests to join in a conversation with the third president as he discusses his views on religion at 10 a.m. Saturdays, April 7-28 at the Governor’s Palace. This program is included in Historic Area admission.

    For more information, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit www.history.org.

    Religion Month programming is made possible with a grant from the Kern Family Foundation, Waukesha, Wis. These are only a portion of the programs offered during Religion Month. The 2012 Religion Month Scholarly Lecture Series takes place at the Wallace Museum during the month as well.

    Programs and exhibitions at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

    The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program. Explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670 – 1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Colonial Williamsburg Hotels feature conference spaces and recreation activities from spa and fine dining to world-class golf. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

    Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at www.history.org.

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121



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