The Faith of Our Founding Fathers

Many were trained as ministers, but at the time of the signing of the Declaration, only a few were active in ministry. For example, John Witherspoon was serving as a minister at that time; Robert Treat Paine served as a military chaplain during the Revolution, and Lyman Hall had served as a minister before the Revolution; etc. However, there are many others who should also be noted for their ministry work, including Francis Hopkinson, a church music director and choir leader who edited a famous American hymnbook; Roger Sherman, who wrote the doctrinal creed for his denomination in Connecticut; Benjamin Rush, who started Sunday School in America and founded the country’s first Bible Society; James Wilson, who had been trained as a clergyman in Scotland but became an attorney, teaching students the Biblical basis of civil law; and many others. In fact, at least 29 of the signers had been trained in schools whose primary purpose was the preparation of ministers, including John Adams, Samuel Adams, Carter Braxton, Charles Carroll, William Ellery, Elbridge Gerry, Lyman Hall, John Hancock, Benjamin Harrison, Joseph Hewes, William Hooper, Francis Hopkinson, Thomas Jefferson, Francis Lewis, Philip Livingston, Thomas Lynch, Arthur Middleton, Lewis Morris, Thomas Nelson Jr., William Paca, Robert Treat Paine, Benjamin Rush, James Smith, Richard Stockton, William Williams, James Wilson, John Witherspoon, Oliver Wolcott, and George Wythe. They attended universities and seminaries of learning such as Harvard, Yale, William and Mary, Princeton, Cambridge, and Westminster.

For more information on the education of the signers of the Declaration, see this older textbook reprinted by WallBuilders:
Lives of the Signers

Wallbuilders-book_lives-of-the-signers-of-the-declaration
Available from Wallbuilders.com

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