Independence Day Special – Part 3 – From America’s Hidden History – Who was Charles Carroll of Carrollton? What do you know about Benjamin Rush? These Founding Fathers and more knew that the Bible was the basis for our freedom. Tune in today to hear part 3 of our Independence Day Special!

Air Date: 07/02/2021

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.



Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live, and we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture always from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. Today, we are going to find the conclusion of a three part series on Independence Day. It’s a television special actually that David and Tim Barton did for TBN, and you can actually watch it online. We’ll have links today at Or you can listen, we’re bringing it to our WallBuilders Live listeners as a special this week to celebrate July 4th.

But if you’re just tuning in, haven’t listened to all week, then you can go to right now and in the archive section, yesterday’s program and the day before, so Wednesday, Thursday, and now today, it’s a three part series on this Independence Day special. It’s David and Tim Barton, you don’t want to miss it, a lot of great information. It’s going to equip and inspire you.

And it’s going to take you into July 4th weekend, excited about being free and sharing with your friends and family some of these great stories from our history to remind them the price of freedom, and encourage them to do their part to help continue that freedom. And it’s been a fantastic week, looking forward to closing out the week and all these Independence Day programs with today’s special. We’re going to jump right back in where we left off yesterday. Here’s David and Tim Barton, about Independence Day.



Well, the other Founding Fathers said that Sam Adams was the most openly Christian of all the Founding Fathers. I mean, he wore it on his sleeve literally. He was what today we would call it evangelical and people know that he was the beer guy, but they don’t know about his faith.


Although it’s very evident when you see their writings.


Yeah, another guy that’s really key among the Founding Fathers is this one. This is Charles Carroll of Carrollton. Now, interesting, he signs the declaration, Charles Carroll of Carrollton, and that’s because there are nine Charles Carroll is living at the time in his area. So he’s the one from Carrollton. And that’s the town in Aaron, that’s this place.

And this is one of the documents from him, “Mr. Charles Carroll of Carrollton to the trustees of the Catholic Cathedral Church.” He’s the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence. Now, this actually is, he’s renting his pew. One of the ways you have fun the church back then was not only in tithes. And today we have customs. If you go to church much, you know where people generally sit. Well, back then you actually kind of bought the seat where you sit.


So literally, that is my seat?


That is my seat. I paid for that seat, leave. So that’s one of the ways they fund it. So this is for three months pew and for a particular pew. But back then we often again hear the narrative today that oh, there was so much bigotry back then and they were anti-Catholic. The anti-Catholic sentiment was really because these guys will be against what we’re trying to do by giving people the freedom to choose their leaders. Well, he certainly wasn’t.

He’s the guy who signed the Declaration of Independence, who stood up against the king, and so he kind of broke the barriers and they said, oh, look, there is a Catholic that is a pro-Republican Catholic, they want elected government. And so by the time we get to the Constitution, we have more Catholics actually signing the Constitution. So he kind of breaks through some things. And he lives to be really old. He died at the age of 95.

Now, aged 95 is not that impressive today, but you need to know that the average lifespan back when they signed the Declaration was 33 years old. So he lives to be 95. And it’s interesting that he can’t outlive his kids and grandkids, and late in life, they kind of talking to him and said, Charles, you’re going to die someday. And when you do die, are you ready to make God?


Which is a good question.


This is his answer. This is a letter, Charles Carroll, this is 1825, which makes him 89 years old at the time, and am I ready to meet God? And he says, of course I am. He says “On the mercy of my Redeemer, I rely for salvation, and on his merits, not on any works I’ve done in obedience to His precepts.” And that’s Ephesians 2:8-9, by grace are you saved through faith. And it’s interesting, he was the wealthiest guy in America. I mean, he, hands down, wealthier than John Hancock.

Interesting to see what he did with his wealth. He lived in a rural part of Maryland, where they didn’t have a lot of people. So he didn’t have enough ties to be able to have preachers all the time at the churches. So he took his wealth and he endowed a church there permanently endowed the church and permanently endowed a preacher so that you would have a preacher to preach the gospel, even when there’s not enough people to be able to afford to get a preacher in. So he put his money into the gospel stuff as well. Again, great guy, great Founding Father.


And certainly another one of those guys who kind of breaks that religious narrative that the Founding Fathers weren’t people of faith and one of the guys who certainly was a man of faith, at the time of the Founding Fathers, he was probably one of the most significant Founding Fathers, at least according to John Adams.

John Adams said that this Founding Father was one of the three most notable. Hhe said the three most known George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and this guy right here, Dr. Benjamin Rush. Now today, Dr. Benjamin Rush is not a name that probably any American can tell you very much about unless they’ve specifically studied the signers of the Declaration, and then they know his name. But he actually served on three different presidential administrations. He was director of the US; man, he started five universities, three of them still go today. He actually was known as the “Father of public schools” under the Constitution. He was the father of American medicine. He came up with medical cures; over 200 years ago, they’re still in use today. He was a very significant Founding Father. But today, we just know so little about him.


He is a strong Christian Founding Father. In every sense of the word, he would be evangelical. Benjamin Rush is from Pennsylvania. Now Pennsylvania is largely a Quaker state. And so in 1774, they pass a law that said, we’re anti-slavery, well, the king vetoed that law as well. And so when the king vetoed that law, he said, look, guys, you’re part of the British Empire, you can’t end slavery.

That’s when Benjamin Rush and Benjamin Franklin said, let’s not be part of the British Empire anymore, we want to end slavery. This actually is really an act of civil disobedience. This is the constitution for the first abolition society ever founded in America, goes back to 1774; we’re still British colony, but these guys are saying, we’re not doing this.

Now, Benjamin Rush not only helps found the society with Ben Franklin, he goes on to become the leader of the national abolition movement. They started abolition societies all over the United States, states everywhere: they want slavery ended. So Benjamin Rush is a huge anti-slavery guy. He is also a guy who, like many Founding Fathers back then would read the Bible, once every year, go from cover to cover. And this happens to be his notes that he kept as he would read through the Bible, and the Lord would show him things out of the Scriptures, he would make these notes and, and write down verses, and it’s on various topics. So he’s got verses that deal with animals, he’s got verses to deal with salvation, and the efficacy of prayer and forgiveness. And so, I mean, he just says in the word all the time, and because he’s in the word all the time, he wants everybody else to have the word. So he’s the founder of the Sunday School movement.

This is a newspaper from 1791 and it talks about the new Sunday School Movement. And Benjamin Rush is one of the guys running Sunday School Movement. But he still wants that word of God out there for everybody. So another way to do it is like John Witherspoon wanted the Bible in the hands of everybody in New Jersey, Benjamin Ross said, let’s just create a society that can give Bibles to everybody. And that’s the Constitution for the very first Bible Society ever started in America. And it’s Benjamin Rush, who has written the address there for all the people.

And then in looking for a way to make sure that they can get Bibles, he came up with a new way to print Bibles, it’s called stereotype for any kind of mass production. That’s the first mass produced Bible done in the United States. That’s done, again, with Benjamin Rush’s Bible Society. So really cool stuff he did in trying to propagate faith throughout the United States.


One of the essays he wrote is this essay right here, it’s called “A defense of the use of the Bible in Schools”. And you can guess from the title exactly what he’s talking about. It was why we need the Bible in schools. Actually, in this essay, he gave a dozen or so reasons why the Bible was a necessity for the next generation. In fact, he warned that if we remove the Bible, we would spend time and money punishing crimes that we could have prevented had we instructed young people in morals. In fact, he goes on to write several essays, and a lot of them do with education.

This is a book of his essays. So in this he talks a lot about the Bible and in various other topics. But when he talks about the Bible, one of the things he says is that in America, he says the only useful education has to be laid in religion, specifically the Bible, because without religion, there can be no virtue without virtue, there can be no liberty. And liberty is the object of our government. The point he makes is that we want to be free as Americans, but freedom only works if we have virtue or morality, but you only have virtue or morality if you go back to the Bible. And so he says, without the Bible, America will never be a free nation, but if we will teach the Bible, we can always enjoy freedom.

And this is one of the things that’s fun looking back on these guys. When you start to see their stories, and get beyond just the generalization of, well, those were those old guys or you know, whatever the generalizations are, when you actually start studying their stories, you see not only were these real people who actually dealt with real things in their life, the vast majority of them were so pro-God, so pro-faith, knew we need the Bible in America and knew that ultimately the Bible is the basis of freedom.


Have you ever wanted to learn more about the United States Constitution, but just felt like man, the classes are boring, or it’s just that old language from 200 years ago, or I don’t know where to start? People want to know, but it gets frustrating because you don’t know where to look for truth about the constitution either.

Well, we’ve got a special program for you available now called Constitution Alive! With David Barton and Rick Green. And it’s actually a teaching done on the Constitution at Independence Hall in the very room where the constitution was framed. We take you both to Philadelphia, the cradle of liberty and Independence Hall and to the WallBuilders’ library, where David Barton brings the history to life to teach the original intent of our Founding Fathers.

We call it the Quickstart Guide to the Constitution, because in just a few hours through these videos, you will learn the citizen’s guide to America’s constitution, you’ll learn what you need to do to help save our constitutional republic. It’s fun, it’s entertaining, and it’s going to inspire you to do your part to preserve freedom for future generations. It’s called Constitution Alive! With David Barton and Rick Green. You can find out more information on our website now at

Do you anything about their faith? No. No. Do you know anything about their faith? Like did they believe in God? Because we hear a lot today they’re atheists, agnostics and atheists. So do you know anything about their faith? I wouldn’t know.

No. I don’t, I wouldn’t guess. I would guess Presbyterian or Episcopalian, that’s what I would guess.

There were a lot of them that were. Okay. So that actually that probably we can say even a majority of them were. What do you know about their faith?

Well, the Quakers are pretty big and involved. Right?

There were some Quakers. So Stephen Hopkinson was a Quaker. Yeah, he was a governor actually…

And Puritans obviously, right?

Puritans were. Yeah. Their ancestors

And Catholics were… But…

So do you think some of the Founding Fathers were people of faith with you then will made that deduction?

One nation under God, so yeah, right.


Okay, we’re talking about the Declaration of Independence, specifically, the 4th of July, the signing of the Declaration, things associated we celebrate. And as well as the independence, a lot of people don’t know a lot of the Founding Fathers. And in fact, when I had the chance to speak in schools or colleges, I’ll show a picture of the signers of the Declaration. And we’ll say, okay, who can you name? And generally, there’s two names that stand out above all the others, and that’s Benjamin Franklin, and it’s Thomas Jefferson. And generally, we recognize them because they’re known as kind of the least religious Founding Fathers. It’s the way they’re painted. But even for being the least religious Founding Fathers, they really weren’t anti-religious.


No. It takes Jefferson, for example. Jefferson, undeniably, I don’t dispute he’s one of the least religious Founding Fathers, but least as a comparative term? Least as compared to what? I mean, if you have a room of preachers together, one of the least religious, that doesn’t mean is anti-religious. And so Jefferson, if you take Jefferson and say, okay, let’s just look at public actions that he did.

For example, while he’s in office, in federal office, under George Washington is great example, when he’s under George Washington, and they’re building the Capitol, Jefferson as Secretary of the State starts church services at the building of the Capitol, so that on Sunday you’re actually, government folks are going to church where they’re building the Capitol. Well, he then gets elected to be vice president under John Adams. And when he becomes president, he does an interesting practice, so if he goes to church for eight years to the church at the Capitol that he helped start when he was vice president.

So as Vice President, they take every Sunday, and they take the Hall of the House of Representatives in Congress and turn it into a church building. And that’s where Jefferson went to church for eight years. And so Jefferson helps start church there. Well, when he becomes president, he also starts Sunday church services at the War Department at the Navy Yard at the Treasury. Now imagine this, you want to go to church in Washington, D.C. Do I want to go to the Capitol? Do I want to go to the War Department? Do I want to… Jefferson’s the one who starts churches in the government buildings.


Isn’t he guy that wrote a letter about the separation of church and states?


Yeah, but nobody reads that letter anymore.


I think we’ve misunderstood what he meant.


If we read the letter, we would see that separation churches state means the government can’t stop a religious activity.


Or can’t compel you through a certain denomination, right? It can’t compel you and say you have to be Catholic, you have to be Anglican, you have to be Baptist, or episcopal. But it also can’t stop you from religious activity is how the First Amendment reads. When you look at the Declaration, okay, the Declaration was written by a 33 year old man, which so if you’re younger, that might not seem impressive, if you’re older, like that’s more impressive, right, a 33 year old is where Jefferson is when he goes into Congress. He’s the one on the committee of five largely responsible for drafting the Declaration of Independence.

And in it, he put a lot of unique thoughts and ideas that we’re not common practice of the time where he says that all men are created equal. Well, under the king, under a monarch, that’s not a common belief, but he said these are self-evident truths. Well, they’re only self-evident truths if you know what the Bible teaches, right, that we are all God’s kids and therefore we’ve all been created equal in God’s sight, even though the world and culture Jefferson lived in largely didn’t recognize that. I mean, Jefferson is just not the guy we often hear and think about.


Hey, friends, if you’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live for very long at all, you know how much we respect our veterans and how appreciative we are of the sacrifice they make to make our freedoms possible. One of the ways that we love to honor those veterans is to tell their stories here on WallBuilders Live. Once in a while we get an opportunity to interview veterans that have served on those front lines that have made incredible sacrifices, have amazing stories that we want to share with the American people.

One of the very special things we get to do is interview World War II veterans. You’ve heard those interviews here on WallBuilders Live from folks that were in the Band of Brothers to folks like Edgar Harrell that survived being Indianapolis, there’s so many other great stories you’ve heard on WallBuilders Live. You have friends and family that also serve.

If you have World War II veterans in your family that you would like to have their story shared here on WallBuilders Live, please email us at [email protected], [email protected]. Give us a brief summary of the story and we’ll set up an interview. Thanks so much for sharing here on WallBuilders Live.


Faith was a part of so many of these guys. I find it interesting, there is a set of books here. This is from 1825. And it’s the writings of Richard Henry Lee. Now Richard Henry Lee is this guy right here that on the seventh of June, he’s the guy who said, let’s separate from Great Britain, let’s not be British colony anymore.


He makes the official congressional motion, we’re separate from Great Britain.


And so it’s interesting because at that time, several things happen. One is Congress calls for time of prayer. And by the way, Congress often called us to times of prayer. These happen to be national calls to prayer from the Continental Congress. So the Congress is calling the people to prayer. This is one. Here is another with Congress calling the people. Congress called the nation to prayer 15 different times in the American Revolution.

We have all these guys together working and their faith is very evident. And then Richard Henry Lee says, let’s just go ahead and separate and be a separate nation. And at that point, Congress says, okay, let us back away from this a little bit. If we’re going to write a declaration, let’s get together what we’re going to say to the world, so they get that prepared. And it’s interesting that we voted to separate eventually and Declaration came out.

But years later, the letters of Richard Henry Lee were collected by the grandson, and the grandson has all of granddad’s letters, he brings it out in this two volume set, this is from 1825. And in reading the letters of Richard Henry Lee, he’s reading letters from Richard Henry Lee to Washington to Jefferson to Benjamin Rush to John Adams of Francis Hopkinson. And after he’s gone through so many of the letters of the Founding Fathers, I want you to hear what the grandson concludes in having gone through all these letters.

He says, “The wise and great men of those days, all these Founding Fathers, the wise and great men of those days, we’re not ashamed to confess the name of our blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ in behalf of the people as their representatives and rulers. They acknowledge the sublime doctrine of his mediation.”

No wait a minute. Would I read all the writings of the Founding Fathers, man, are these guys Jesus guys? On behalf of the entire nation, they talked about Jesus. So on 4th of July, which where we are now we celebrate Independence Day, we celebrate the principles and the Declaration. And how do you do that? How’s the best way to celebrate?

And really to take responsibility for preserving those principles, it’s interesting, that was the discussion that happened 200 years ago. When they approved the Declaration of Independence, John Adams wrote his wife, Abigail two letters. Here are letters from John Adams to Abigail. And what happened on the day they did this, he was thinking ahead, how will future generations see what we just did today? And he starts predicting that I think they’re going to want to celebrate what we did today.

Now, here we are, 200, and something years later, we celebrate what they did. But back then on the day they did it, he’s saying, I think future generations will want to celebrate this. And so listen to what he told his wife Abigail about how to celebrate this Independence Day. He says “I’m apt to believe that this day will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.” He was right he was a prophet. That’s what we do now. He said “This day ought to be commemorated.” He said “It ought to be solemnized with pop and parade, with shows and games and sports and guns and bells and bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.” Make a big deal out of this, you know, fireworks, everything. Listen to this. He said this day ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. The way you ought to celebrate the 4th of July is as a religious holiday, a day of devotion to God Almighty.


Well, still right, we celebrate, we have the barbecue, right, I mean, we go to the lake. We do fireworks. We celebrate. But ultimately, not only do we celebrate freedom the way to appreciate and enjoy freedom, he says, make sure we thank God for the fact that we have freedom, right. Living in, arguably, the freest nation on Earth, certainly one of the freest nations in the history of the world, that ought to be something every 4th of July, not only do we shoot off fireworks, we go, Lord, thank you, that you’ve allowed me to be in a place where I have freedom.


Now, that was 1776. Here’s a 4th of July oration given an 1837. So now we’re 61 years later, and this is given by John Quincy Adams, the son of John Adams. So now 61 years later, how do we celebrate the 4th of July? What’s the big deal about the 4th of July?


Hi, friends, this is Tim Barton of WallBuilders. This is a time when most Americans don’t know much about American history or even heroes of the faith. And I know oftentimes we, parents, we’re trying to find good content for our kids to read.

And if you remember back to the Bible, to the book of Hebrews, it has the faith Hall of Fame where they outline the leaders of faith that had gone before them. Well, this is something that as Americans, we really want to go back and outline some of these heroes, not just of American history, but heroes of Christianity in our faith as well.

I want to let you know about some biographical sketches we have available on our website. One is called The Courageous Leaders collection. And this collection includes people like Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, George Washington Carver, Susanna Wesley, even the Wright brothers. And there’s a second collection called Heroes of History. In this collection, you’ll read about people like Benjamin Franklin or Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman; friends, the list goes on and on. This is a great collection for your young person to have and read and it’s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available at That’s


This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American History. Too often today history education excludes great black heroes from the American founding, such as Lemuel Haynes. Haynes, abandoned as a baby pioneer churches across upper New England. He became the first black American to pastor a white congregation, to receive an honorary master’s degree, and to be ordained by a mainstream Christian denomination, the Congregationalists. He was a soldier during the American Revolution.

And in his churches on George Washington’s Birthday, he regularly preached sermons honoring George Washington. Even late in his life, he expressed his willingness to go back to battle if necessary to protect America, which he called a Sacred Ark. American history is filled with numerous examples of black heroes who are largely ignored by mainstream education today.

For more information about Pastor Lemuel Haynes and other colonial patriots, go to


This is what John Quincy Adams says, “Is it not that in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation 4th of July is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior.” 4th of July and Christmas go together? He says “It forms a leading event and the progress of the gospel dispensation. Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organize the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission on Earth that it laid the cornerstone of human government on the first precepts of Christianity.” He says the 4th of July took what Jesus did on his birth, and we’ve now brought it to America. So the principles that Jesus brought in the world is what the 4th of July brought to America. They saw the 4th of July as one of our top two religious holidays in America. That’s a good thing to remember on the 4th of July.


In the midst of everything else we do on the 4th of July, one thing we ought to remember is what the Founding Fathers pointed to. John Adams says that we ought to be celebrating this as a day of deliverance, almost like when Moses leads the Israelites out, right, what do we do? We’re going to stop and thank God that we now get to enjoy something, not everybody in history has enjoyed. We’re enjoying freedom. And so we are on 4th of July say, God, thank you for freedom.

As we celebrate Independence Day, just like John Adams to the end of his life, he was able to raise a glass and offer toast, I would suggest that as we celebrate Independence Day that maybe it’d be appropriate for us to raise a glass and toast Independence forever.


Today we’ve uncovered the individual and very personal stories of several signers of the Declaration of Independence. We discovered they were honorable men who sacrificed their fortunes, their families, their homes, and even their lives to secure for every one of us the freedoms we now enjoy, and so often take for granted. But what we’ve seen and heard only scratches the surface. For more information about any of these topics, or to get resources you can personally study for yourself, go to our website, or go to the App Store and download the WallBuilders app. You can also like us on Facebook, or go to our YouTube channel and other social media. And be sure to stay tuned to TBN for more exciting chapters in America’s Hidden History.


Alright, friends, we are out of time today, thankfully got the conclusion. We got to do some great programming this week. So it’s what you just heard, what we were just listening to was David and Tim Barton in their Independence Day Special that they did for TBN. We’ve got that available on our website today at so that you can listen to the entire program if you happen to miss yesterday, or the day before maybe you tuned in in the middle of program today. So that entire special is available right now at Thanks for joining us this very special week of Independence Day. You have a great July 4th weekend and be sure to visit our website today at God bless you and thanks for listening to WallBuilders Live.