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Models of Success

His Excellency George Washington: Father of His Country, Part 1 of 2

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George Washington was born in 1732, a fourth generation Virginian. His father passed away when he was just 11, and his education was modest. The first position he held was as a land surveyor. In 1752, following the death of one of his brothers, George Washington inherited the family estate at Mount Vernon, on the banks of the Potomac River. This would be his home for the rest of his life. He also took over his brother’s position as major in Virginia’s militia, where he began his military career. Although his tall stature made him an easy target, as a devout Anglican, George Washington had a secret power on the battlefield: his unshakable faith in God.

In 1755, after miraculously being protected and surviving the conflict, 23-year-old George Washington wrote to his brother John Augustine: “But by the All-Powerful Dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability and expectation...” Amidst the conflict that continued for eight long and grueling years, George Washington always remembered the vanquished and prayed for an end to the hostilities. After one of many battles, he ordered the next day to be: “...a day of fasting, prayer and humiliation, to implore the Lord and Giver of all victory to pardon our manifold sins and wickedness, and that it would please Him to bless the Continental army with His Divine favor and protection.”

At the end of 1777, the Continental Army set up camp in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania for the duration of winter. They were short of supplies and faced hunger and illness amidst the bitter cold. It is said that George Washington often went into the woods by himself and humbly prayed to God for his country. “In that woods pointing to a close in view, I heard a plaintive sound as, of a man at prayer. I tied my horse to a sapling and went quietly into the woods and to my astonishment I saw the great George Washington on his knees alone, with his sword on one side and his cocked hat on the other. He was at Prayer to the God of the Armies, beseeching to interpose with his Divine aid, as it was ye Crisis, and the cause of the country, of humanity, and of the world.”

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