Wednesday, January 8, 2020

2020, the 400th Anniversary of America's Covenant with God

by Elva Cobb Martin

This year, 2020, is the 400th  Anniversary of America’s Mayflower Compact with God. And that’s exactly what it was, a covenant with God for a new godly nation.

September, 1620 one hundred and two passengers set sail on the Mayflower with the blessings of their pastor, John Robinson.  Their 66-day journey of 2,750 miles encountered terrible storms. One youth, John Howland, was swept overboard  by a freezing wave but they were able to rescue him. And I’m so glad they did.

His descendants include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Humphrey Bogart, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and George W. Bush.

During the pilgrims’ voyage, one man died and a mother gave birth. Intending to land in Virginia, they were blown off course and landed in Massachusetts which they named Plymouth Rock after their port of Plymouth they departed from in England.

Before disembarking from the Mayflower, William Bradford, wrote up what we now call the Mayflower Compact in November of 1620:

“In the name of God. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King and Defender of the faith. Having undertaken for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith, and the honor of King and Country a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts... do solemnly covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body politick...”

One signer is Steven Hopkins—an ancestor of Dr. Mark Hopkins!

Then the Pilgrims disembarked from the Mayflower. Gov. Wm Bradford wrote to describe this: “Being thus arrived in  a good harbor and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of heaven.

Many are praying that in 2020, the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower Compact, God will revisit America with a Great Awakening. I certainly agree with that prayer.

How does the Jamestown settlement (1607) compare with the Plymouth colony's godly goals?

The Jamestown settlement in the Colony of Virginia was the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. It was located on the northeast bank of the James River about 2.5 mi southwest of the center of modern Williamsburg. I've visited this area several times.

Jamestown was established by the Virginia Company of London in 1607. The colony was sponsored by the Virginia Company investors who hoped to profit from the venture. Making money for the investors, even hoping to find gold, was the main goal of this Jamestown settlement. This was quite a different goal than that of the Puritans at Plymouth whose hope was the furtherance of the gospel of Jesus' Christ.

These two vastly different streams of motivation and goals--love of money and living out the gospel of Jesus Christ--still flow in America to day.

They flow in politics, business, religion, and yes, even in writing. 

I am part of the the American Christian Fiction Writers, the premier organization in the US for the training and celebration of Christian fiction. ( We have a double job and opportunity—to write exciting fiction that people will want to read and to plant nuggets of God’s truth that can impact lives with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Here's a prayer I lift up for you today and this new year of 2020:

Prayer: Jewish Blessing from Numbers 6:24-26
The lord bless and keep you this coming new year.
The lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.



PS One good way to get constructive critiques if you are a writer, is to join our SC Chapter of ACFW of which I am current president. We meet the 4th Saturdays of each month at North Anderson Baptist Church, Anderson, SC. Visitors are welcome.  Check out our chapter blog at  or if you'd like to be added to our chapter email list for meeting announcements contact me through my web site contact page at   We'd be delighted to keep you posted of the great plans we have in store for writers this new year. Check out the calendar on the chapter blog I'm getting ready to update with speakers for Jan - May.

Elva Cobb Martin is 2020 President of the SC Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has three inspirational novels published, Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and two historical romances, In a Pirate’s Debt, and Marisol, Book 1 in a new Charleston Brides series for  Wild Heart Books. All three novels have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. She and her husband Dwayne are retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site, Twitter; Facebook;  and Pinterest  
 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works 
on Amazon: