Happy Fourth of July!

by Dennis Miller, Senior Pastor

Photo: Happy Birthday, America! Courtesy of Shannon Sellars.

Dear Ginghamsburg Church Family,

Today is our nation’s 248th birthday! I know some of you are history buffs, as I am. As we celebrate Independence Day, did you know the original Independence Day was July 2, not July 4? Several years ago, I heard Adam Hamilton address this subject. July 2 is when the Second Continental Congress approved a resolution of independence from the British Crown. But the final draft of the Declaration of Independence was not approved until July 4. Also, did you know Congress cut a 168-word paragraph from Jefferson’s original draft of the Declaration of Independence that was deemed too controversial to retain?

Thomas Jefferson was only 33 years old when he drafted the Declaration of Independence. He had included in the draft of the Declaration submitted to Congress a 168-word paragraph denouncing slavery for the way it violated the most sacred rights of life and liberty and noting that King George was “Determined to keep open a market where Men should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or restrain this execrable commerce.”

This paragraph sparked the most intense debate. Tragically, Congress determined that it needed to be cut from the Declaration. Two thirds of the representatives at the Continental Congress owned slaves including Jefferson himself. And they argued that the American economy was dependent on the nation’s 700,000 slaves. The lofty ideals articulated by the Declaration’s best-known words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” would not apply to the nearly 20% of the population in this newly formed nation who were enslaved. The words didn’t fully apply to women either. Women were not allowed to own property in their own name. And a year after the Declaration was signed, every state passed laws making clear that women were not allowed to vote.

It would take 89 years and a Civil War to end slavery in America. It would take another 55 years for women to have the right to vote. It would be 100 years after the Civil War was concluded that the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965 arrived, aimed at protecting equal rights for all people. President Johnson, at the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, noted that this was finally ensuring what had been promised in our Declaration of Independence. It was seeking to “end the last vestiges of injustice in our country.” But even these acts of Congress could not change human hearts or put an end to injustice.

As we celebrate the lofty ideals of the Declaration of Independence today, we recognize that throughout our history we’ve not always lived up to these ideals as a nation. Americans have at times been blind to injustice, or rationalized it, as the Second Continental Congress did. But we’ve come a long way toward living up to these ideals since 1776 and celebrate that progress.


As we celebrate our nation’s birth today, I want to encourage us as followers of Jesus Christ to continue to speak up for the deeply biblical principle that all people are of equal value and worth, that all of us are endowed by our Creator with the unalienable rights including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

May God bless you on this national holiday and may God bless America!

Pastor Dennis

One more thing! Weather permitting, are you having a cook-out today? Independence Day is a day of feasting with family and friends! Hot dogs, hamburgers, BBQ, baked beans, mac & cheese, potato salad, chips and dips, apple pie, ice cream, etc! Our message topic this Sunday, July 7 is, “I Have A Friend Who Wonders If God Cares What We Eat?" I will be preaching at the Tipp City campus and Karl Penn will be preaching at the Fort McKinley campus. The message is based on 1 Corinthians 6. We will delve into Paul's teachings about the body being a temple of the Holy Spirit. Our dietary choices aren't merely about physical health but reflect our reverence for the sacredness of our bodies. By honoring our bodies, we honor God, acknowledging His creation and care. We explore how mindful eating can enhance our spiritual well-being and draw us closer to God, reinforcing that our physical and spiritual lives are deeply interconnected. Through this, we understand the importance of respecting and nurturing the temple God has entrusted to us. So, please enjoy a special feast today, and join us this Sunday in-person or online as we discuss our daily relationship with food. See you soon!   

Dennis Miller

Senior Pastor


It's food drive weekend!

Jesus eats with everyone. Extend the table by bringing some non-perishable items with you Sunday and help us fill New Path's pantry shelves.

Not sure what to bring this weekend? With kids out of school for the summer, New Path is asking for kid-friendly foods: nut butters, mac & cheese, canned mixed fruit...anything the kids in your life would love to snack on! Kid-friendly care items (shampoo, bubble bath, etc), dish soap and pet supplies would all be welcome too!


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