America’s Black Robe Regiment (ABRR) was founded in September 2012 by Rev. William Cook as an association of clergy who seek to emulate the bold and courageous Seventeenth Century ministers who inspired and in many cases fought, led companies, and paid the ultimate sacrifice in the American War for Independence.
The epic contribution of the 18th Century clergy to the “monumental act of Independence” has been largely ignored in the teaching of American History in public schools. Nevertheless, the political worldview embodied in the Founding Charters had been preached for at least 50 years by the American Revolution began at Lexington on April 19, 1775. Aptly portrayed by author and historian John Wingate Thornton, these clergy “were Timothies in their houses, Chrysostomes in their pulpits, and Augustines in their disputations.”
The name “Black Regiment” was coined by the British as a derisive reference to the American clergy and the black robes they wore in the pulpit. The term was also acknowledged their preaching and leadership in the War for Independence. Were it not for these bold and courageous ministers, we might not have religious freedom in America today.
The principles in our nation’s Founding Charters had already been preached for decades by the time that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. These patriot pastors preached on battlefields, served as chaplains, accompanied the men of their flocks into battle, prayed for and comforted the wounded, and some like Rev. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, event traded the crozier for the sword.
“Black (Robe) Regiment” was coined by the British as a derisive reference to the black Geneva gown worn by New England clergy when they preached. Use of the term was sardonic acknowledgement of their seminal role in the War for Independence. Were it not for these bold and courageous ministers, we would not be enjoying religious freedom in America today.
The “Black Regiment’ had preached the political ideology in the Founding Charters ere Jefferson put quill to parchment in the Great Declaration or first blood was drawn at Lexington April 19, 1775. They preached on battlefields, served as chaplains, accompanied the men of their flocks in battle, prayed for and comforted the wounded, and some like Rev. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, even traded the crozier for the sword.
Lt. Gen William G. Boykin
Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin (ret), a clergyman and Executive VP at the Family Research Council, and Bishop E.W. Jackson, Founder and President of STAND, commissioned the Black Robe Regiment of Virginia on September 19, 2012 at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.
Other speakers included Don Blake, Chairman & President of the Virginia Christian Alliance, Lea Carawan, Executive Director of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, Rev. Bill Cook, Founder & CEO of the Black Robe Regiment of Virginia, Michael P. Farris, founding president of both the Home School Legal Defense Association , Patrick Henry College, and President, CEO and General Counsel of the Alliance Defending Freedom, Chris Freund, Vice President of Policy & Communications for The Family Foundation, John Guandolo, Founder & President of Guandolo Associates and Understanding the Threat, Bishop E.W. Jackson, President of, Dean Welty, Director of the Valley Family Forum, and Rev. Travis Witt reenacted the January 21, 1776 sermon of Rev. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, in which he announced that he was leaving the pulpit for the battlefield to take a commission as a Colonel in the Continental Army.
Bishop E.W. Jackson
Pastors at the event were so moved by General Boykin’s message that when Bishop E.W. Jackson gave the call for ministers present to join the Black Robe Regiment of Virginia, every minister in attendance stood to his feet and came forward, committing himself to the cause. Thus, the Black Robe Regiment of Virginia was born.
Patrick Henry College, Purcellville, VA