The History of the Church in America
... is a special presentation from Pastor Chris White.
This is a twenty three part podcast giving a quick overview
from the year 1491 up to the twentieth century.
To listen on-line, left click the title of the podcast.
To download it, right click and choose "Save Target As".
1) 1491 Part 1— The Americas had a history long before Columbus arrived.
Where did the first Americans come from and what were they like?
2) 1491 Part 2 — What was the spiritual history of the first Americans
prior to Columbus? Are there any clues that might indicate they had a
knowledge of the God of the Bible?
3) 1492 Part 1— What were the motives of European exploration of the
Also, the surprising religious motivations of Christopher Columbus.
4) 1492 Part 2 — Early Christian missions to the New World and the
apparition of Mary known as the Virgin of Guadalupe. What does this tell
us about Latin American Christianity?
5) Henry VIII’s Shabby Treatment and the American Church Part 1 — Why
did the Roman Catholic Church’s most ardent defender turn Protestant
or did he?
6) Henry VIII’s Shabby Treatment and the American Church Part 2 —
How did Henry VIII’s divorce debacle end up becoming a catalyst for the
7) Jamestown, Plymouth Plantation, and the Massachusetts Bay Colony
1607-1699 Part 1— Captain John Smith, Pocahontas, and the sailing of the
Mayflower form the early English colonizing efforts of the New World.
How important was the freedom of worship to these early settlers?
8) Jamestown, Plymouth Plantation, and the Massachusetts Bay Colony
1607-1699 Part 2— Understanding the Puritans and their
unique way of life. Did they really not like having fun?
Was their attempt to build a “City on a Hill” successful?
9) Roger Williams and Providence Plantation— Who would think the
diminutive Rhode Island would be the birthplace of the
Separation of Church and State?
Roger Williams “wall” was to separate the Church from
the State that both would fulfill their proper function.
10) William Penn and the Holy Experiment of Penn’s Woods 1644-1718—
The ne’er-do-well son of Britain’s greatest Admiral is given a colony in the
New World by the crown. This colony is the first to allow religious
pluralism in America and had a constitution more advanced in liberty
than the one adopted by the nation after the Revolutionary war.
11) The Great Evangelical Awakening Part 1— The prosperity and
population growth of America brings spiritual doldrums that are blown
away by a widespread revival. One of God’s instruments in this revival
is perhaps America’s greatest theologian and intellect Jonathan Edwards.
12) The Great Evangelical Awakening Part 2— Methodism’s “forgotten
founding father” George Whitfield itinerates in the Colonies and becomes
our nation’s first bona-fide celebrity. His preaching changes the way
Americans think about church and their country.
13) The Founding Fathers and the Church in Revolution 1776-1836
Part 1— The Revolution had the support of many but not all Christians. Was
this an event that could be justified biblically? What were the
viewpoints of Christians who were against the break with England? Also
what were the religious perspectives of America’s Founding Fathers?
14) The Founding Fathers and the Church in Revolution 1776-1836
Part 2— After continuing our look at the faith commitments of the Founding
Fathers, we will look at the American Constitution as it touches on the
life of the Church.
15) The 2nd and 3rd Awakenings of America Part 1— After the Revolution,
the spiritual temperature of America cooled considerably. In a totally
unexpected way, God launched a revival in America that started in the
Frontiers of Kentucky but also touched the urban areas of the east and
institutions of higher learning.
16) The 2nd and 3rd Awakenings of America Part 2— As part of the
Revival in America there was a fresh impetus to take the Gospel to the
world in missions. Also this time of spiritual fervency led to the
development of several well-known sub-Christian sects such as the
Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
17) The Civil War : National Tragedy and Theological Crisis Part 1
— The Civil War was largely the result of a division that occurred in American
churches over slavery 30 years prior. Their inability to resolve the
slavery issue biblically and theologically, led to it being solved by
Generals Grant and Lee.
18) The Civil War : National Tragedy and Theological Crisis Part 2
— Religion has always been called upon in times of war, but
probably no more than in the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln was actually
looked upon as a “Christ-figure” in many respects and though the South
lost the war, they felt their loss was but a temporary victory of evil
over righteousness that would be later vindicated by God.
19) Shifting Perspectives in the New World 1800-1920 Part 1— The 19th
Century brought about the rise of great urban centers in America and a
new field for evangelism for people like D.L. Moody. Along with
evangelism were widespread efforts at social reform.
20) Shifting Perspectives in the New World 1800-1920 Part 2— Great
efforts were made towards world evangelization in the 19th century. By
the turn of the 20th century, U.S. foreign policy seemed to include a
component of Christianization.
21) The Church in the 20th Century: Conflict and Renewal
Part 1— Fundamentalism started as a denominational conflict over
liberal theology that had crept into the American church. In the first
quarter of the 20th century, fundamentalist Christians were in the
ascendancy but eventually found themselves in retreat following the
Scopes Monkey Trial.
22) The Church in the 20th Century: Conflict and Renewal Part 2
—The modern Pentecostal movement was born on the prairies
of Kansas and went worldwide following a revival at the
Azusa Street Mission in Los Angeles in 1909.
23) The Church in the 20th Century: Conflict and Renewal Part 3
— Following World War II there was a religious resurgence in
America and the rise of the new evangelicals who identified with Billy
Graham. In the same era, renewal came to the Roman Catholic Church
through the 2nd Vatican Council and mainline denominations through the