Christian Heritage Week
by Martha Sparks
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has proclaimed Christian Heritage Week during the week of November 18-24, 2012, in the state of West Virginia on June 20. This was the 21st consecutive year of Christian Heritage Week proclaimed in the state.
The State proclamation reads:
“Whereas, the Preamble to the Constitution of West Virginia declares, ‘Since through Divine Providence we enjoy the blessings of civil, political and religious liberty, we, the people of West Virginia … reaffirm our faith in and constant reliance upon God.
“Whereas, the Bill of Rights to the Constitution of West Virginia guarantee religious freedom; and the “Sundays excepted” provision of Article 7, Chapter 14, historically recognizes Sunday as a day of rest and worship; and
“Whereas, for many West Virginians, public school days once began with a daily Pledge of
Allegiance, prayer and Bible readings; and
“Whereas, the state’s, The West Virginia Hills and West Virginia My Home Sweet Home, contain the lyrics, “With their summits bathed in glory, like our Prince Immanuel’s land!” and “There I work, and I play, and I worship Sunday,”; and
“Whereas the influence of Christianity in West Virginia is evident by her many churches and Christian charities, ministries, missions and schools; chimed Christian Easter and Thanksgiving holiday seasons; and a willingness of Mountaineers to love thy neighbor as thyself; and
“Whereas, Thanksgiving week is an appropriate time to center attention on our thanks to Almighty God for His great and good Providence and for the Christian faith, which is part of West Virginia’s and America’s history.
“Now, Therefore, be it Resolved that I, Earl Ray Tomblin, Governor of the Great State of West Virginia, do hereby proclaim November 18-24, 2012, as Christian Heritage Week in the Mountain State and invite all citizens to join me in this observance.
“In Witness thereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of West Virginia to be affixed.
“Done at the Capitol, City of Charleston, State of West Virginia, this the Twentieth day of June, in the year of our Lord, Two Thousand Twelve, and in the One Hundred Fiftieth year of the State.’”
Chapmanville Mayor Jerry Price Jr. followed Tomblin’s lead and signed a similar proclamation declaring Christian Heritage Week in Chapmanville.
The Chapmanville proclamation reads:
“Mayoral Proclamation in harmony with Christian Heritage Week in West Virginia November 18-24, 2012 as proclaimed by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin
“Whereas, the week of Thanksgiving marks the twenty-first consecutive Christian Heritage Week in West Virginia observance; thus continuing a tradition of annual proclamations beginning with Governor Gaston Caperton in 1992 thru 1996 and continued by Governor Cecil Underwood from 1997 thru 2000, Governor Bob Wise from 2001 thru 2004, Governor Joe Manchin from 2005 thru 2010 and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin in 2011 and 2012; and,
“Whereas, 142 mayors from 105 cities, towns and villages throughout West Virginia have proclaimed Christian Heritage Week since 2001; and,
“Whereas, local churches are asked to participate with relevant Sunday School lessons, sermons, patriotic song services, youth programs and prayer meetings;
“Now, Therefore, Let it be Known that November 18-24, 2012, Thanksgiving week, is hereby proclaimed as:
“Christian Heritage Week in the Town of Chapmanville, West Virginia and I invite all citizens to join in this local event each in their own way.”
Logan Mayor Serafino Nollette also issued a proclamation Thurs., Nov. 15, to commemorate the Christian Heritage Week. Members of the Beth Haven Christian School student government met with the Nolletti at Logan City Hall Thursday to mark the nationwide celebration.
The Logan proclamation reads:
“Whereas, John Adams wrote, “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity.” (Letter to Thomas Jefferson, June 28, 1813.); and,
“Whereas, Noah Webster taught, “The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His Apostles.-This is genuine Christianity and to this we owe our free constitutions of government.” (History of the United States, 1832, public school textbook.); and,
“Whereas, Thomas Jefferson warned, “And can the liberties of the nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?” (Notes on the state of Virginia, 1781.); and,
“Whereas, James Madison proclaimed, “And to the same Divine Author of every good and perfect gift we are indebted for all those privileges and advantages, religious as well as civil, which are so richly enjoyed in this favored land.” (Presidential Proclamation, 1815.); and,
“Whereas, Benjamin Rush encouraged, “Let the children … be carefully instructed in the principles and obligations of the Christian religion. This is the most essential part of education.” (A plan for Free Schools, 1787.); and,
“Whereas, George Washington exhorted, “We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation which disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” (“Inaugural Address,” April 30, 1789.); and,
“Whereas, commemorating America’s Christian heritage provides an opportunity for those choosing to participate to thank God for His “Blessings of Liberty”, to ask His help to “insure domestic Tranquility” and to recognize our national need and “unalienable Rights” in reaffirming our “reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence” for keeping our families secure, communities safe and America a “Free and Independent” “one Nation, under God,”: NOW, “Therefore, Let it be known that the City of Logan joins in this nationwide celebration of America’s Christian heritage.”
Beth Haven students presented the mayor with a copy of “The Way it Was”, an autobiography of the life of Rev. William Preston Vance founder of Beth Haven Christian School.
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