New Hampshire Governor John
Langdon called for a Day of Fasting, February 21, 1786, to pray for the
new government of the United States:
"That He would be pleased to bless the great Council of the United States of America and direct their deliberations...
he would rain down righteousness upon the earth, revive religion, and
spread abroad the knowledge of the true God, the Saviour of man."
When New Hampshire became the 9th State to ratify the U.S. Constitution, JUNE 21, 1788, it officially went into effect.
The 55 writers of the U.S. Constitution were:
26 Episcopalian Christians
11 Presbyterian Christians
7 Congregationalist Christians
2 Lutheran Christians
2 Dutch Reformed Christians
2 Methodist Christians
2 Quaker Christians
2 Roman Catholics
and Dr. Franklin, who called for prayer at the Constitutional Convention, June 28, 1787, stating:
the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible
of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.-
Our prayers, Sir, were heard and they were graciously answered.
All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor...
have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more
convincing proofs I see of this truth - that God Governs in the affairs
of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice,
is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?..."
have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that 'except the Lord
build the House, they labor in vain that build it.'... I also believe
that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political
building no better than the Builders of Babel...
I therefore beg
leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of
Heaven, and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly
every morning before we proceed to business."
The Constitution went into effect June 21, 1788, when 2/3's of the States ratified it:
DELAWARE - 1st to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 State Constitution:
"Every person...appointed to any office...shall...subscribe...
faith in GOD THE FATHER, and in JESUS CHRIST His only Son, and in the
HOLY GHOST, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the Holy
Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine
PENNSYLVANIA - 2nd to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 State Constitution, signed by Ben Franklin:
"Each member, before he takes his seat, shall...subscribe...
do believe in one GOD, the Creator and Governor of the Universe, the
Rewarder of the good and the Punisher of the wicked. And I do
acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by
NEW JERSEY - 3rd to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 State Constitution:
persons, professing a belief in the faith of any PROTESTANT sect, who
shall demean themselves peaceably under the government...shall be
capable of being elected."
GEORGIA - 4th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1777 State Constitution:
"Representatives shall be chosen out of the residents in each county...and they shall be of the PROTESTANT religion."
- 5th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, retained its 1662 Colonial
Constitution, which was established PROTESTANT CONGREGATIONAL, till
"By the Providence of GOD...having from their ancestors
derived a free and excellent Constitution...whereby the legislature
depends on the free and annual election...The free fruition of such
liberties and privileges as humanity, civility and CHRISTIANITY call
MASSACHUSETTS - 6th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1780 State Constitution, written by John Adams:
person...before he...execute the duties of his...office...[shall]
subscribe...'I...declare, that I believe the CHRISTIAN religion, and
have a firm persuasion of its truth'...
The legislature shall...authorize the support and maintenance of public PROTESTANT teachers of piety, religion and morality."
MARYLAND - 7th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 State Constitution:
other test...ought to be required, on admission to any office...than
such oath of support and fidelity to this State...and a declaration of a
belief in the CHRISTIAN religion."
SOUTH CAROLINA - 8th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1778 State Constitution:
person shall be eligible to a seat...unless he be of the PROTESTANT
religion...The CHRISTIAN PROTESTANT religion shall be deemed...the
established religion of this State."
NEW HAMPSHIRE - 9th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1784 State Constitution:
"No person shall be capable of being elected...who is not of the PROTESTANT religion."
- 10th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 State
Constitution, Bill of Rights, written with the help of James Madison and
"It is the mutual duty of all to practice CHRISTIAN forbearance, love, and charity towards each other."
NEW YORK - 11th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1777 State Constitution:
"The United American States...declare...
of nature and of NATURE'S GOD...All men are created equal; that they
are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable rights...Appealing
to the SUPREME JUDGE of the world...A firm reliance on the protection
of DIVINE PROVIDENCE'...
People of this State, ordain...the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination...
Provided, That the liberty of conscience, hereby granted, shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness."
NORTH CAROLINA - 12th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 State Constitution:
person, who shall deny the being of GOD or the truth of the PROTESTANT
religion, or the Divine authority either of the Old or New Testaments,
or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and
safety of the State, shall be capable of holding...office."
RHODE ISLAND - 13th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, retained its 1663 Colonial Constitution till 1843, which stated:
the blessing of God...a full liberty in religious
concernements...rightly grounded upon GOSPEL principles, will give the
best and greatest security...in the true CHRISTIAN faith and worship of
God...They may...defend themselves, in their just rights and liberties
against all the enemies of the CHRISTIAN faith."
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Lafayette Black wrote in Engel v. Vitale, 1962:
late as the time of the Revolutionary War, there were established
Churches in at least 8 of the 13 former colonies and established
religions in at least 4 of the other 5."