A George Washington story known to few persons remained to be made current by Editor Charles Edward Thomas of The Delta, publication of Sigma Nu fraternity. This, made public last week, was how George Washington was baptized.

When he was almost two months old, Washington was sprinkled in the "orthodox Episcopal manner." At 33 he took oath to conform to the doctrine of the Church of England "as by law established." Throughout his life he was seen regularly in church though he did not often kneel in prayer or partake of communion. Washington's reputation, like that of such Deists as Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin, is one of coolness and moderation in religion.

But through his time swept a hot blast of evangelism, chiefly in the Methodist and Baptist faiths. General Washington one day went to Rev. John Gano, chaplain in the Continental Army, and exclaimed: "I have been investigating the Scripture, and I believe immersion to be baptism taught in the Word of God, and I demand it at your hands. I do not wish any parade made or the army called out, but simply a quiet demonstration of the ordinance."

In the presence of 42 witnesses George Washington was immersed in the Potomac; but he did not give "personal testimony" which would have made him a member of the Baptist Church.

In 1908 Rev. E. T. Sanford of Manhattan's North Church commissioned a painting of Washington and Chaplain Gano waist-deep in the Potomac. The painting was taken to the Baptist Church at Asbury Park, N. J. where it hung until 1926. It was then presented by Chaplain Gano's great-granddaughter to William Jewell College (Baptist) in Liberty, Mo. for the dedication of a John Gano Memorial Chapel

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,744297,00.html#ixzz0uGez9DY9

During the American Revolution, Gano served as a soldier and a chaplain for the Continental Army, and was chosen by General Washington to say a prayer marking the official end of the American Revolutionary War in 1783. [4]

This would indicate a special relationship with the great General, and his appreciation as follows:

> > For the Baptism

> > For not making a big spectacle, and keeping Washington's confidence

The Baptist who Baptized Washington

John Gano (Hopewell Township, New Jersey on July 22, 1727 - August 10, 1804) was a Baptist minister and Revolutionary War chaplain who allegedly baptized his friend, General George Washington.[1]

Gano was raised as a Presbyterian and his father was a descendant of Huguenots and his mother of English Baptists. After a powerful conversion experience, John Gano eventually became a Baptist (Calvinistic) as a young man after a period of intense study. Gano left the family farm to study at Princeton University (then the College of New Jersey) but left before graduating.

Gano was ordained as pastor of the Scotch Plains, New Jersey, Baptist Church on May 29, 1754. In 1760, he became the founding pastor of what became two years later the First Baptist Church in the City of New York, now located at the intersection of Broadway and 79th Street.

Gano served as pastor of the New York Church until 1787, however, he made long itinerant trips evangelizing throughout the thirteen colonies, asserting

I... had a right to proclaim free grace wherever I went.[2]

Gano travelled throughout the South, Middle Atlantic States, and New England, sometimes being away from home for as long as two years. In 1764, Gano joined several others as an original fellow or trustee for the chartering of the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (the former name for Brown University, originally a Baptist school).[3]

During the American Revolution, Gano served as a soldier and a chaplain for the Continental Army, and was chosen by General Washington to say a prayer marking the official end of the American Revolutionary War in 1783. [4]

After the War, Gano returned to his congregation in New York, and in 1787 he moved to Kentucky where he lived until his death in 1804.[5] Gano is buried in the Daughters Of The Revolutionary War Section of the Frankfort Cemetery in Frankfort, Kentucky just beyond Daniel Boone's grave.

Gano's descendants include billionaire Howard Robard Hughes, Jr., whose mother was Allene (Gano) Hughes; Rev. Stephen Gano; Admiral Roy Alexander Gano; Confederate States of America General Richard Montgomery Gano, and Union General Stephen Gano Burbridge.

The Baptism of George Washington

In 1889 two of Gano's grandchildren claimed in an affidavit[6] that Gano's eldest daughter told them that Gano had baptized Washington by immersion at Valley Forge when he was one of Washington's chaplains.[7]

The story is rejected by atheist histoprians but acceptaed by Christian historians.

Washington's biographer, and uncle of Howard Hughes. Rupert Hughes, researched the matter and determined that Rev. Gano served with Clinton's army, not with Washington's, which would have had nothing to do with the baptism itself.

The location is sometimes given as Valley Forge and sometimes as the Potomac, that there is no documentation of Gano ever being at Valley Forge, that there is nothing in Gano's own correspondence or his biography to suggest that the event took place, and that none of the 42 reputed witnesses ever documented the event.[8][9]

Gano Chapel at William Jewell College in Missouri is named after John Gano, and displays a painting of Gano baptizing Washington. The school takes no stance on whether the baptism of Washington actually took place. The chapel also contains a sword owned by the Marquis de Lafayette that Washington purportedly gave to Gano.

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