Dead Ends

The roads of life–where do they take us? In 1793, slavery was becoming a pillar of southern economic success; many southern farmers chose this road. Gowan Pamphlet, the pastor of the black church of Williamsburg requested admission of his church into the all-white Dover Association of Baptist Churches; he picked a road that looked difficult to travel. Two roads–one of slavery and the other based on the equality of man before God. Neither ultimate destination was clearly seen at the time.

Sandy and I just returned from a trip along the Oregon/Mormon Trail researching the third book in my Fury series. I wanted to travel to stops mentioned in the story. One of these was Red Rock, Iowa. Our GPS took us about nine miles off the main road over narrower and narrower gravel and dirt roads on the way to Red Rock. All the time, I looked forward to arriving at the historic town. Finally, the GPS said we were almost there. Excitement rising, we made a turn…and stopped. Just ahead was a  sign that read DEAD END.

The road to Red Rock. WayToRedRock_Extract_Sm

How much like life! I thought. As with many of the southern cotton farmers who thought they were on the right path, all indications were that I was as well…until I saw that the end was really a dead one.

Where were we to go? How would we find Red Rock? A cloud of dust arising from the road back, gave me hope. I flagged down a truck that looked official, like its driver would be able to help. I spent a good 15 minutes talking with a new friend, Cleo. He cleared up the matter. Red Rock dam was built in the 1960’s and covered the town of Red Rock. Contemporary pictures of Red Rock, Iowa, would be the peaceful surface of Red Rock Reservoir.

Again, I thought, How much like life! There IS someone who knows the paths we travel—which ones lead to death and which to life.

See more at “The Courage of Your Faith,” this month featuring “The Slaves.” “The Courage of Your Faith” consists of 12 short stories from our history and 12 Bible Studies on issues as relevant today as they were in the past. Each study includes supplemental information and a Power Point slide presentation

So, what’s a Gowan Pamphlet?

“The Slaves” is the ninth segment in The Courage of Your Faith series. The historical setting for this study is Virginia after the Revolutionary War. While researching topics for this series, I came across an article that mentioned a Gowan Pamphet. Now, what was a Gowan Pamphlet, I wondered. It turns out it’s a “he.” Gowan Pamphlet was a black slave in Williamsburg who pastored its first Baptist church. It was made up of, by some estimates, 600 free and slave blacks. Under his leadership, the African Church (as it was known) was accepted into the Dover Association in 1783. While in Williamsburg, we spent some time tracking down one of the possible early sites for the church. You can find an online slide show including a possible location of “Raccoon Chase” here.

See more at “The Courage of Your Faith.” “The Courage of Your Faith” consists of 12 short stories from our history and 12 Bible Studies on issues as relevant today as they were in the past. Each study includes supplemental information and a Power Point slide presentation.

All documents can be downloaded at no charge from the web site. The short stories have been compiled into one eBook which is downloadable from both Barnes & Noble and Amazon for a small fee. A link now appears at the top of this email for those who wish to be added to this mailing list. Feel free to forward this email to anyone you think might be interested. They can then add their name to receive future updates. Have fun.