On Tuesday, October 5, as people gathered on the historic Plymouth waterfront, the long-awaited American Pilgrimage 400 culminated with the re-enactment of the landing of the Pilgrims from the newly restored replica shallop. Jumping from the boat into waist deep water to the cheers of on-lookers, the role players from Plimoth-Patuxet Museums came ashore, some knelt, others raised their hands as narrator Richard Pickering read Bradford’s words “On Monday (December 11) we sounded the harbor and found it a very good harbor for our shipping…. they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of Heaven who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean.”
The five-day event began on Friday, October 1st, with Ballet Magnificat! depicting the story of the Pilgrims in a production named Anchored: the Pilgrim Story. These young people were enthusiastic and hungry to learn the history of the Pilgrims and they put their heart and soul into their performance! Here they pose in front of Leyden Preservation Group’s Lot 1 close to where the first house of the Pilgrims was constructed in 1621. They did a second performance on Saturday the 2nd, as well.
On Saturday, a mini historic village of 17th century reenactors was formed in front of the Antiquarian Society’s Hedge House where visitors could interact with a “living history museum.” In addition, at Forefathers Monument, a prayer meeting led by If My People took place as intercessors from around New England and the nation gathered to pray. Several First Nation Chiefs came and at one point joined with Rabbi Morse and the Shofar team to pray for Israel and America!
On Sunday, October 3, a Pilgrim Church Service took place at Forefathers Monument. A long procession formed (a Pilgrim Progress) through the streets of Plymouth, leading all to the base of the Monument. Then prayer, psalm singing from the Ainsworth Psalter used by the Pilgrims, and Scripture reading from the Geneva Bible took place. It was capped off by the preaching of Pastor John Robinson’s farewell sermon by Dr. Paul Jehle. It inspired a crowd of about 400!
Marshall Foster and Kirk Cameron, from the movie Monumental, spoke to a crowd of about 700 gathered to participate in the “American Campfire Revival” which had been going on virtually for days, starting in the
back yard of Kirk’s home in California.
Marshall gave an overview of providential history and why the Pilgrims were unique in history, and how believers today need to seize our moment today to make the same kind of impact.
Kirk spoke about restoring an altar in every home, fanning the flames of a grass roots revival that could sweep across America. It all culminated in people gathering around eight campfires surrounding the National Monument to the Forefather where people prayed for their lives, homes, church and nation.
On Monday and Tuesday, October 4-5, workshops took place where people could choose to hear from some of the best historians in the nation, including Bill Federer, John Eidsmoe and Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Tom Parker, to name a few. These, along with others, spoke on topics such as “Why the Pilgrims Are Unique in all of History,” “The Laws of the Pilgrims,” “The Fruit of Pilgrim Liberty,” “Why God Birthed America,” “The Book that Made America,” “The Significance of the Mayflower Compact,” “Understanding William Bradford,” “The Theology of the Pilgrims,” “The Pilgrim Psalter,” “Providences and Principles in the Pilgrim Story,” “1619 or 1620? Which Project founded America?”, “Pilgrim Economics,” and “What Immigrants Can learn from the Pilgrim Story.”
The finale on Tuesday, October 5 was a sight to behold! Opened by Herring Pond Tribal Chairwoman Missy Ferretti, two First Nation Chiefs were introduced and dancers surrounded the replica Mayflower as the voyage was re-enacted. Students recited the Compact, and the Old Colony Club, the oldest men’s club in the nation, re-told the story, narrated in period dialect. 102 Pilgrim reenactors stood on the waterfront. As the names of the 51 who died the first winter were read, they sat down – leaving only those who survived standing!
Concluding the event Chief Huron Claus (Mohawk) and Chief Raynard Faber (Apache), sang a blessing over America! You can go to www.plymrock.org/events and watch for video and audio recordings of the events in the days ahead!