Many of us remember from school that from the early 1600s into the 1730s, many colonists came to the country to freely worship God without fear of persecution. While fraught with difficulties, life in colonial America must have also been filled with many examples of God’s blessing on those faithful enough to seek Him in this new land.
But in the 1650s, the Age of Enlightenment began. This was a 130-year period where many of history’s great thinkers—scientists, inventors, philosophers, and others—began to challenge societal thinking, particularly in the area of religious belief. Rather than basing one’s life on faith in God, the new standard was to reason, investigate, question, and analyze. Men such as Francis Bacon, John Locke, Voltaire, and Sir Isaac Newton published works discussing discoveries, advancements, and enlightened views. Literacy increased, and people devoured the words of such men.
Also during this time, changes in the Church of England affected the faith of churchgoers. In 1688, the Church of England became the reigning church in that country. While at first this seemed a good idea, it caused other religions, sects, and denominations to be suppressed. Rather than living from true conviction, people worshipped out of habit, ritual, and complacency.
The life of faith in the Colonies and worldwide was waning. All of these events set the stage for The Great Awakening.
The first stirrings of revival began in Germany, when
believers from Moravia fled
|Count von Zinzendorf|
Revival Spreads to America
As word of the Dutch-Reform’s revival reached the English speakers, they called
During this period, church congregations doubled or tripled in size. The
Meanwhile, Across the Pond…
Only as the stirrings of the American Revolution began in the mid-1760’s did the fire of revival wane.
Jennifer Uhlarik discovered the western genre as a pre-teen, when she swiped the only “horse” book she found on her older brother’s bookshelf. A new love was born. Across the next ten years, she devoured Louis L’Amour westerns and fell in love with the genre. In college at the University of Tampa, she began penning her own story of the Old West. Armed with a B.A. in writing, she has won five writing competitions and finaled in two other competitions. In addition to writing, she has held jobs as a private business owner, a schoolteacher, a marketing director, and her favorite—a full-time homemaker. Jennifer is active in American Christian Fiction Writers and lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, teenaged son, and four fur children.
Now available for purchase:
Nine romance stories of the Oregon Trail by Amanda Cabot, Melanie Dobson, Pam Hillman, Myra Johnson, Amy Lillard, DiAnn Mills, Anna Schmidt, Ann Shorey, and Jennifer Uhlarik.