America’s Black Robe Regiment (ABRR) was founded in September 2012 by Rev. William Cook as an association of clergy who seek to emulate the bold and courageous Seventeenth Century ministers who inspired and in many cases fought, led companies, and paid the ultimate sacrifice in the American War for Independence.
The epic contribution of the 18th Century clergy to the “monumental act of Independence” has been largely ignored in the teaching of American History in public schools. Nevertheless, the political worldview embodied in the Founding Charters had been preached for at least 50 years by the American Revolution began at Lexington on April 19, 1775. Aptly portrayed by author and historian John Wingate Thornton, these clergy “were Timothies in their houses, Chrysostomes in their pulpits, and Augustines in their disputations.”
The name “Black Regiment” was coined by the British as a derisive reference to the American clergy and the black robes they wore in the pulpit. The term was also acknowledged their preaching and leadership in the War for Independence. Were it not for these bold and courageous ministers, we might not have religious freedom in America today.
The principles in our nation’s Founding Charters had already been preached for decades by the time that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. These patriot pastors preached on battlefields, served as chaplains, accompanied the men of their flocks into battle, prayed for and comforted the wounded, and some like Rev. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, event traded the crozier for the sword.