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April 2, 2007

CW celebrates Religion History Month with special programs during April

During Religion History Month in April, Colonial Williamsburg’s guests have the opportunity to learn about religion in the 18th century. All programs take place
in the Hennage Auditorium of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.

Programs include:

  • Martha Washington: A Woman of Faith, 2-2:45 p.m. Sundays, April 1, 15, 22 and 29. The Founding Mother was indeed a woman of faith who found much in her religious beliefs to draw upon in supporting her husband throughout his many years of public service.
  • Sounds From 17th-century Virginia, 4-4:45 p.m. Mondays, April 2, 9, 16 and 30. The Virginia Company discusses and performs songs and tunes familiar to Virginia’s 17th-century colonists. From the psalms sung in the Church of England to the secular music of farmers, soldiers and sailors, music of some description, both instrumental and vocal, was a regular part of life in all three cultures that interacted with one another in 17th-century Virginia.
  • My Fortress and My Strength, Gowan Pamphlet, a locally known 18th-century African-American Baptist preacher, offers his perspective on slavery, religion and freedom.
  • 1-1:45 p.m. Tuesday, April 17; and
  • 3-3:45 p.m. Tuesdays, April 3, 10 and 24.
  • Jefferson and Henry Present Their Views on the Separation Between Church and State, 2-2:45 and 3:30-4:15 p.m. Thursdays, April 5, 19 and 26. Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry present their respective bills concerning religion before the Virginia legislature in 1784 to the public.
  • The Gospel of Education, 11-11:45 a.m. Fridays, April 6, 13 and 27. Most formal education in the 18th century was conducted and/or sponsored by agents of the church. The great majority of professors at American colleges and tutors in communities and on plantations were ordained ministers. Protestant churches put great emphasis on the importance of all believers being able to read the Bible. James Waddell and Gowan Pamphlet discuss the importance of education and its connections with organized religion.
  • The Faith of the Founding Fathers, 2-2:45 and 3:30-4:15 p.m. Saturdays, April 7, 14, 21 and 28. Either Patrick Henry or Thomas Jefferson discusses how religion affects one’s daily life.
  • To Such Belongs the Kingdom of God, 1-1:45 p.m. Sunday, April 8. Martha Washington speaks with children and adults about proper upbringing and family matters.
  • The First Lady Reflects on the Role of Religion in Her Life, 2:30-3:15 p.m. Sunday, April 8. Martha Washington shares her views on religion and explains her dependence on her religious faith in both her public and private life.
  • Patrick Henry Shares His Views on the Separation Between Church and State, 2-2:45 p.m. Thursday, April 12. Patrick Henry presents his bill before the Virginia legislature in 1784 to those assembled. Governor Henry is of the opinion that the future moral state of Virginia society depends on a formal relationship between the government of the Commonwealth and the teachers of the various denominations of Christian faith. Members of the audience will be invited to share their views on this issue with Mr. Henry.
  • God’s Word, 11-11:45 a.m. Friday, April 20. Gowan Pamphlet discusses the connections between education and organized religion.

    Colonial Williamsburg’s Religion History Month and other related programs are made possible through the generous support of the Kern Family Foundation of Waukesha, Wis.

    A Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket, Good Neighbor Pass or College of William and Mary faculty or student ID is required to attend the daytime programs.

    Reservations are needed where indicated and are available at any Colonial Williamsburg ticket location.

    Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture — stories of our journey to become Americans. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. Williamsburg is located 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information or reservations, call toll-free 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg on the Internet at

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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