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America’s Black Robe Regiment (ABRR) was founded by Rev. William Cook in September 2012, as an association of clergy who aspire to the exemplary lives and fighting spirit of the bold and courageous ministers who garrisoned the Pulpit of the American Revolution. Aptly characterized by historian John Wingate Thornton, “they were Timothies in their houses, Chrysostoms in their pulpits, and Augustines in their disputations.”

“Black Robe Regiment” was a derisive British reference to the American clergy who wore the black Geneva gown in the pulpit, and sarcastic acknowledgement of their seminal role in the fight for Liberty. They preached the political ideology embodied in the Charters of Freedom for fifteen years culminating in the American Revolution, preached on battlefields, accompanied the men of their flocks in battle, prayed for and comforted the wounded, and some like Rev. John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, traded the crozier for the sword.

Launch

Lt. Gen William Boykin
Retired Army Green Beret Commander Lt. Gen William G. (“Jerry”) Boykin

Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin (ret), a clergyman and Executive VP at the Family Research Council, and Bishop E.W. Jackson, Founder and President of STAND, commissioned the Black Robe Regiment of Virginia on September 19, 2012 at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.

Bishop E W Jackson
Bishop E.W. Jackson

Other speakers included Don Blake, Chairman &President of the Virginia Christian Alliance, Lea Carawan, Executive Director of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, Rev. Bill Cook, Founder & CEO of the Black Robe Regiment of Virginia, Michael P. Farris, founding president of both the Home School Legal Defense Association , Patrick Henry College, and President, CEO and General Counsel of the Alliance Defending Freedom, Chris Freund, Vice President of Policy & Communications for The Family Foundation, John Guandolo, Founder & President of Guandolo Associates and Understanding the Threat, Bishop E.W. Jackson, President of, Dean Welty, Director of the Valley Family Forum, and Rev. Travis Witt who reenacted Rev. John Peter Gabriel’s Muhlenberg’s January 1776 sermon in which he announced that he was leaving the pulpit for the battlefield to take a commission as a Colonel in the Continental Army.

Pastors at the event were so deeply moved by General Boykin’s keynote address that when Bishop E.W. Jackson gave the call for ministers present to join the Black Robe Regiment of Virginia, every minister in attendance stood to his feet and came forward, committing himself to the cause. Thus, the Black Robe Regiment of Virginia was born.

Patrick Henry College
Patrick Henry College, Purcellville, Virginia

Our inaugural commissioning was held on September 19, 2012 at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia, with retired Lt. Gen. William G. (“Jerry”) Boykin, a clergyman and Executive Vice President of the Family Research Council, as our keynote speaker. Other speakers included Don Blake, Chairman &President of the Virginia Christian Alliance, Lea Carawan, Executive Director of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, Rev. Bill Cook, Founder & CEO of the Black Robe Regiment of Virginia, Michael P. Farris, founding president of both the Home School Legal Defense Association and Patrick Henry College, Chris Freund, Vice President of Policy & Communications for The Family Foundation, John Guandolo, Founder & President of Guandolo Associates and Understanding the Threat, Bishop E.W. Jackson, President of STAND, Dean Welty, Director of the Valley Family Forum, and Rev. Travis Witt who reenacted Rev. John Peter Gabriel’s Muhlenberg’s January 1776 sermon in which he announced that he was leaving the pulpit for the battlefield to take a commission as a Colonel in the Continental Army.

Pastors in attendance were deeply moved by General Boykin’s inspiring message, and when Bishop E.W. Jackson issued the call for ministers to join the Black Robe Regiment of Virginia, every minister in attendance stood to his feet and came forward at the invitation, committing himself to the cause. Thus the Black Robe Regiment of Virginia was born.

Charter Members Picture
Charter Members of the Black Robe Regiment of Virginia

Charter Members (Alphabetical Order)

  • Pastor Alfred Archer, Senior Pastor, Cedar Lane Bible Way Church, Ashburn, VA
  • Don Blake, Chairman and President, The Virginia Christian Alliance, Richmond, VA
  • Lt. General Jerry Boykin, Executive VP, Family Research Council, Washington, DC
  • Rev. Pierre Bynum, Chaplain, Family Research Council, Washington, DC
  • Rev. Bill Cook, Founder & CEO, Black Robe Regiment of Virginia
  • Pastor MichaEl Hirsch, Senior Pastor, Calvary Christian Center, Fredericksburg, VA
  • Bishop E.W. Jackson, President, STAND (Staying True to America’s National Destiny)
  • Rev. John Nuzum, Church of the Holy Spirit, Leesburg, VA
  • The Rev. Tom Simmons, Rector, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Purcellville, VA
  • Pastor Gary Smith, Church of the Nazarene, Leesburg, VA
  • Rev. Jack Stagman, Purcellville, VA
  • Rev. Travis Witt, Gilboa Christian Church, Lynchburg, VA