This brief biography is provided for readers of this Christian web site. This bio is provided for listeners of my weekly radio program broadcast over the air waves into many parts of the world. Also, this bio is for other ordained ministry members of the church around the world regardless of the name of the denomination or group affiliations of these members in the body of Christ. Finally, this bio is for the curious observers who want to know what qualifications does one have to officially preach,teach and minister God's word in the church and to the world.
Born in 1952 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to parents who where born and lived in Bethlehem. My grandparents on both sides of the family lived in Bethlehem since the late 1800's on Mother's side and early 1900's on my father's side. My named grandfather moved from St John's Bay, New Foundland in 1909. The Hammond genealogy history lived and many still live today in St Johns Bay,NF. The Genealogy reveals the Hammond name, the first name listed on its official tax collection records in 1794. The family probably lived in St.John's Bay before any official tax records where kept. The genealogy reveals former family members lived earlier on "The Isle of Mann" also called "Isle of Man" in the earlier 1700's and possibly some family members lived on "The Jersey Isles" near England and France. Before this time we trace the family line back to Prague, Czech into the 1600's. The records are lost before this time though it is probable there is a earlier family time connection to England. It is interesting to note, Dr John Hammond was the court Physician to King James 1, who authorized the King James Bible in 1611. We cannot claim certain genealogy connection but it is interesting to note.
Nevertheless, going back to Prague, I can not say with any certainty, if any family members lived during the time of Jan Hus (John Huss) and hearing his preaching in the "Bethlehem Chapel" in Prague in the early 1400's. Jan Hus died in 1415AD and is credited with the founding of the beginning of the Protestant movement. The Moravian church founded Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1741 under Nicolaus Ludwig, Count Von Zinzendorf who named Bethlehem on Christmas Eve December 25th 1741 and claims association with Jan Huss.
The Moravains lived in Moravia, Czech and associates its history as the oldest Protestant denomination in the world with Jan Hus. One of my graduate degree research paper's traced the founding of The Moravian Church. It discovered they experienced their own church Pentecost in 1727 according to ZinZendorf. Immediately thereafter, they started their 100 year 24/7 prayer meeting in Moravia. Soon thereafter, their missions program was established and they came to America into Savannah, Georgia in 1739. They then traveled by ship who George Whitfiled owned into Philadelphia then land travel up to Nazareth, Pennsylvania who Evangelist Rev. George Whitefield, owned, named and founded as an educational center for the children orphange he founded in Savanah called "Bethesda." This is the oldest continues orphange in America and operates today in the same place. George Whitefield ( The great awakining of America time frame evangelist.), hired the Moravians to construct the buildings at Nazareth in 1740. One year latter the Moravians founded Bethlehem, Pennsylvania as their missionary sending town to preach the gospel. Their prayer meeting continued all this time for the remaining of the 100 years while in Bethlehem.
Whitefield purchased the land he called Nazareth from William Penn's granddaughter " Ann." William Penn was a Quaker preacher from England who's father was Admiral Sir William Penn of the Royal Navy under King Charels II. William was given the land by King Charles as a financial debt he owed to his Father Admiral Penn. Willaim founded his "Holy Experiment" plan in Pennsylvania ( Penn's woods) with the purpose of given new land to any persecuted Christian in Europe. His founding included giving voting rights to all citizens in 1682. This was the first time in world history that the common person had the right to vote for their elected officials. Penn gave guidance to the voters by saying, the Christian voters should vote according to Christian values and principles. Noting that the Christian will be held accountable to Christ on judgment day for how they voted. Also, any person elected by the voter would be held accountable for how the managed the affairs of the people or state on the same judgment day. This was history in the making with voting rights given through a servant of God, A preacher of Christ gave voting rights to common people. The first time in human history for everyday people to vote for their elected officials. Would the church today vote according to biblical values and principles? Williams Penn's "Holy Experiment" is not dead nor did it fail. It is only not known nor understood by the masses in the churches of America because not enough people talk about it!
The connection of all this Christian history with this biography is unusual, fascinating and God glorifying. As if, born out of due time to continue the connection that God had established through previous generations in order to tell the story which leads to Christ as Saviour. I hope this is received with open hearts and open minds on how God appointed one of his servants to preach Christ today in the 21st Century.
My grandfather, Thomas before moving leaving St. Johns Bay to come to Bethlehem, first lived in Manhattan, NYC,met then married grandmother in "The little church around the Corner" Manhattan, NYC. New Yorkers are familiar with this historic church in Manhatten.NYC. The Hammond genealogy traces its Christian roots to both Protestant and Catholic backgrounds. "The little church around the Corner" was Episcopal. The Church of England renamed itself in America and called itself Episcopal. My Grandfather Thomas was first of the Catholic tradition but married in the Episcopal church. However, after being dissatisfied with his Catholic church surroundings in Bethlehem, he and Grandmother visited then became members of the Emmanuel Evangelical Congregational Church in Bethlehem in 1924.
My father was the oldest of four and age thirteen at the time of Grandfather joining this congregation. This was a conservative Evangelical church that grew to over five hundred members in the 1950-60's. My Father, Milton or (Milt) told us that he got saved in a gospel tent meeting here in Bethlehem. Billy Sunday and Billy Graham both visited the EC Church to preach in the past. I was raised in this same church. During Sunday School meeting in 1961, I gave my life to Christ by asking him and accepting him as my Savior. The elder lady Sunday School teacher gave her class of seven or eight the altar call and I responded with a full conscience of knowing and believing in Jesus Christ.
TO BE CONTINUED