oin historian Bill Potter and evangelist Bernie Beall for a tour that has been years in the planning and which will offer the most diverse, iconic, fascinating, provocative, educational and entertaining historical sites imaginable. Even if you have been to the nation’s capital city before, you have neither seen all the places of this expedition nor interpreted each of them in the light of God’s providence, as we will do together.
International Spy Museum
Library of Congress
Lincoln Memorial *
Included in This Tour
- Opening night welcome reception Monday, April 23
- All venue admissions and guide gratuities throughout the tour
- Transportation on top-of-the-line motor coaches
- Unlimited Metro pass during the tour
- Teaching from 2 professional historians/churchmen: Bill Potter and Bernie Beall
- Lunch on Thursday
- Farewell Banquet Friday, April 27
- Access to deeply discounted rate at Residence Inn Alexandria
- Rich fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ
The Antietam National Battlefield is the scene of the bloodiest single-day battle in American history. General Lee’s controversial first invasion of the North brought what many considered an undefeatable army fresh off a drubbing of the Yankees at Manassas, to Maryland and to bring the war to a conclusion in favor of the Confederacy. Providence intervened dramatically and the desperate battle that followed broke all boundaries for savagery in a hard war. From it issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
Antietam National Battlefield Memorial, Burnside’s Bridge 1
Arlington House in Arlington National Cemetery 2
The most revered cemetery in the United States lies just across the Potomac River from the capitol, in Arlington, Virginia. It is the final resting place of 400,000 soldiers, including the Tomb of the Unknown representatives of America’s military dead and the graves of 367 Medal of Honor recipients. This site will elicit a patriotic sigh and thankful acknowledgement to God for his Grace in giving our nation a sacrificial spirit to defend the Republic.
We will honor and remember several founders of our nation at Mt. Vernon — George Washington’s incredible plantation — and at the magnificent Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Both historic sites will remind us that God installs unique men to lead nations and accomplish his purposes at specific times in history. Singular in their character and attainments, both Washington and Jefferson changed history and guided the United States to conform to their view of the Constitutional founders.
We will visit the new World War II Memorial and the famous Marine Corps Monument in honor of our veterans of seventy years ago. We will discuss the biblical appropriateness of honoring war veterans and the nature of architectural memorial iconography in America.
World War 2 Memorial, Washington, D.C. 3
Vietnam Veterans Memorial 4
The greatest treasure troves of American material culture and historic remembrance are found in the Smithsonian Institution. We will visit the Air and Space Museum where the Spirit of St. Louis, the Enola Gay, and Apollo Space Capsules reside — machines flown by men who moved the history of the entire world in new directions. We will marvel at some of the 137 million historic and natural artifacts collected since the 1840s and analyze, in the light of Scripture, the evolutionary and humanistic presuppositions of their interpretative framework.
Smithsonian Institution Building 5
National Air and Space Museum Entrance 6
At the National Archives and the Library of Congress we will view documents of our national heritage and tell stories of the providential ways in which God has preserved our country. We will explore the galleries and learning center to see how our civil government in Washington interprets itself.
The news media of every generation exerts a powerful influence on the minds of Americans. Newspapers for hundreds of years were the dominant force of public information and the men who wrote and published served as political power brokers, promoters of scandal and popularizers of war and “reform”. The interactive, provocative, and educational Newseum displays the power and prejudices of mass media throughout American history and politics for all to see. We will analyze the propaganda machines of yesterday and today that have molded our thinking and that of our countrymen since colonial days.
International Spy Museum 8
Espionage began in biblical times and has continued unabated till today. The subject of television programs, movies, thousands of books, and spectacular court cases, spying captures everyone’s imagination. Spies have brought down governments, gotten secret agents arrested or killed and have helped steer the foreign policy of the nations of every continent. The Spy Museum shows espionage in all its aspects both comical and deadly serious. This is a visit to an unusual and unforgettable history museum where, from the first room to the gift shop, it will prove one of the most interesting places you will ever encounter.
No visit to Washington is complete without a visit to the looming giant of the Lincoln Memorial. Few men of history have generated so many admirers — the constitutional and war policies of the 16th President have been cited as precedent by Presidents Woodrow Wilson, FDR, George Bush and others. So many myths have developed over the years that Old Abe could give the ancient Greek deities a run. Not every historian admires the man from Illinois; should prove to be an interesting visit.
Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C. 9
United States Supreme Court Building 10
Scripture, biblical characters and allusions to the Christian faith abound throughout Washington D.C. on public buildings. We will be calling attention to the faith of the founders and many of the men who served in government through the centuries as they left their worldviews carved in stone. The antithesis between God’s Law and secular humanism, Christianity and paganism, the Sovereign Lord and wannabe-sovereign man are everywhere apparent if you know where to look. We will visit the Supreme Court Building and discuss the origins of law and the syncretism that has characterized our legal system.
An experienced historian and avid bibliophile, Bill Potter combines a lifelong study of American history with an uncommon ability to captivate audiences of all ages as he traces the providential acts of God throughout the ages. Mr. Potter has taught history in high schools and colleges, has led many tours of American and European historical sites and brings to each event a wealth of experience and knowledge. An experienced researcher and writer, Mr. Potter possesses a practical knowledge of antiquarian books, documents, and artifacts and has published several short books and has penned many articles and book reviews for publication. Bill has earned a well-deserved reputation as a man gifted in communicating the story of God’s providential hand in American history. As a father of eight children, he appreciates the necessity of passing on to the succeeding generations the richness of both our regional and national history. He and his wife, Leslie, reside in Virginia.
Bernie and his wife Linda founded Great Commission Families in 2006 as a local family ministry helping families to “take steps of faith toward greater involvement in the Great Commission”. Prior to Great Commission Families, they were on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ for 23 years, including 8 years as the D.C. Metro Director, then on the National Team for CCC’s International Student Ministries. Today, a big part of their ministry is creating family-friendly evangelistic outings by leading spiritual heritage outreach events in Washington, D.C. showing the evidence of our Christian heritage on display throughout our nation’s capital and surrounding region, including at the local major Civil War battlefields. Bernie and Linda met at Penn State University in 1979 where Bernie graduated in Agriculture and Linda in Nursing. Today, Bernie is an ordained minister with the Evangelical Church Alliance. Bernie and Linda have four grown children and live in Maryland not far from their nine grandchildren, and near the family dairy farm where Bernie grew up.
Note: Schedule days and venues subject to change.
|7:45am||Meet in Residence Inn lobby|
|8:00am||Depart from hotel to Metro Station|
|10:30am||Capitol Visitors Center|
|11:15am||Lunch on your own in the Capitol Cafeteria|
|12:00pm||Tour of U.S. Capitol|
|1:45pm||Library of Congress|
|8:30pm||Optional after-dinner discussion with Bill Potter — Q&A on subjects of the day (Residence Inn, lower level)|
|7:45am||Meet in Residence Inn lobby|
|8:00am||Depart hotel on coach|
|9:30am||Antietam Battlefield Tour (lunch provided)|
|3:30pm||Arlington Cemetery, Arlington House, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Changing of the Guard)|
|5:30pm||Depart Arlington Cemetery|
|6:30pm||Dinner on own|
|8:30pm||Optional movie night — The Conspirator
(Residence Inn, lower level)
|8:00am||Meet in Residence Inn lobby|
|9:00am||Museum of the Bible (400 4th St SW)|
|1:00pm||Spy Museum (800 F Street NW)|
|3:00pm||Mall Monument Tour
WWII Memorial (1750 Independence Ave SW), Vietnam Memorial (5 Henry Bacon Dr NW), Korean Memorial
|5:30pm||Return to Hotel via Metro|
|6:45pm||Meet in hotel lobby for shuttle to Farewell Banquet|
For your convenience, a block of rooms has been reserved at the Residence Inn by Marriot Alexandria Old Town South at Carlyle, 2345 Mill Road, Alexandria, VA 22314. We have used this hotel before and found it to be well suited to our needs. Each room has a full kitchen, King bed and double sofa sleeper. Surrounded by restaurants, Whole Foods two blocks away, and just three blocks from the Yellow Line on the Metro, this clean hotel will be the site of the opening reception and the after-dinner discussions.
Standard rooms are available at $149 per night and this rate includes hot buffet breakfast, evening reception, and Wi-Fi internet access throughout the hotel. This special rate is valid from March 12, 2018.
Call Marriott reservations at (800) 331-3131 and refer to the group code “LEAC” or reserve online.
NOTE: Those guests who would like to arrive earlier or stay later can call Latrice Burton or Arina Travasso at 703-310-1175 and they will manually make the reservation at the group rate.
- George Washington
- Thomas Jefferson
- Robert E. Lee
- George B. McClellan
- Abraham Lincoln
- Dwight D. Eisenhower
- Audie Murphy
- John J. Pershing
- John Marshall
- Charles A. Lindbergh
- Robert Hanson
- Paul Tibbets
- Randolph Hearst
- Ratification of the Constitution
- McCulloch v. Maryland
- Roe v. Wade
- War Between the States
- War with Spain
- Election of Thomas Jefferson (1800)
- Election of Abraham Lincoln (1860)
- The Second World War
- Dropping of the Atomic Bomb
- Solo Flight across the Atlantic
- Spy-Catching in the Cold War
- How to interpret American History biblically
- The nature of republican government
- Patriotic iconography and memorial
- The Atomic controversy
- Competing law-words and worldviews
- Espionage and legitimacy
- Constitutional interpretation
- The role of heroes in our history
- Does the mass media create popular culture or reflect it?
- Uses of the “Great Man” theories
- Providences galore!
- How can we best fight for God’s Kingdom in a pagan land?
The historic works connected with the subjects we will teach and discuss is vast and impossible to cover in a few or even short books. Nonetheless, there are some books that will be helpful in both the short and long run for study of the historical artifacts of our tour, both intellectual and material. As usual, there is much on the internet that is very helpful for learning about the actual monuments and memorials we will visit, but their meaning, purpose, and relevance is at the real heart of our tour.
- God and Government, by Gary DeMar
- The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States, by Benjamin F. Morris
- The Theme is Freedom: Religion, Politics, and the American Tradition, by M. Stanton Evans
- George Washington’s Sacred Fire, by Peter Lillback
- George Washington, Indispensable Man, by Thomas Flexner
- George Washington, Founding Father, by Richard Brookhiser
- Landscape Turned Red: The Battle of Antietam, by Stephen Sears
- The Real Lincoln, by Thomas DiLorenzo
- Abraham Lincoln, by David Donald
- The Jefferson Image in the American Mind, by Merrill Peterson
- Presence of the Past: A History of the Preservation Movement in the United States before Williamsburg, by Charles B. Hosmer
- The Enola Gay, by Paul Tibbets
- Lindbergh, by A. Scott Berg
- Spying in America: From the Revolutionary War to the Beginning of the Cold War, by Michael J. Sulick
- Encyclopedia of Cold War Espionage, Spies and Secret Operations, by Trahair and Miller
- Constitutional Chaos by Andrew Napolitano