“Recall the miraculous deeds he performed, his mighty acts and the judgments he decreed.” —I Chronicles 16:12
Before all Israel, upon King David’s command, Asaph and his relatives delivered prayers of thanksgiving to God, the above verse being part of that exhortation. We at Landmark Events pursue a similar goal of remembering God’s mighty acts of the past. In 2022 we led family history tours to nine different important locations where we saw the hand of Almighty God in our past: in churches, and in the lives of leaders great and small, of deeds commemorated on battlefields and fortresses, in museums and historic homes, in public buildings and monuments. We gathered for fellowship and good meals, as well as interactive teaching and learning moments. Conversations with our historians and others occurred daily as we plumbed the depths of ideas and the applications of biblical truth to history. We discussed the importance of multigenerational learning and appreciation for God’s covenantal faithfulness to ourselves and our country.
St. Augustine, Florida
or the ninth consecutive year, historian Bill Potter and company president Kevin Turley led an eager group of attendees through the beautiful city of St. Augustine. The oldest city in North America retains much of its old world Spanish charm in the narrow alleys and diverse architecture of the earliest of European settlement in North America.
Trees dripping with Spanish moss (or French beard if you prefer) leading to the park that commemorates the discovery of Florida by Ponce de Leon. Living history experts fire muskets and cannon and a 16th Century blacksmith plies his skills in a teaching forge. A representative monk of the Dominican order explains the importance of the Roman Church for the Spaniards and the local natives during the “Spanish Century.” The oldest masonry fort in North America is always a highlight—the Castillo de San Marcos.
We visit the best museum in the United States from which to learn about pirates via artifacts and a colorful living history guide. Our visit to the recreation of the Huguenot Fort Caroline outside Jacksonville is the occasion for our flag relays and learning of the failed attempt of the French Reformed settlers to evangelize the natives and establish a Protestant beach-head in the New World. We spend considerable time studying Henry Flagler, the man who almost single-handed created Florida as a tourist destination. A churchman in an age of backsliding, a billionaire who provided a living and creative work for a hundred thousand men and their families, and an architect who never let cost get in the way of aesthetics and perfection, Flagler left his mark on Florida like no other single individual with the possible exception of Walt Disney.
Our final destination on this tour is the battlefield and reenactment at Olustee, the largest battle in Florida in the War for Southern Independence. We study the battle and the importance of the state in the Confederacy with our own military historian Bill Potter, and are as shocked as the original participants to find that fight was in the top three bloodiest battles in terms of casualties per participants, in the war.