* It was Presbyterian Pastor James Caldwell who urged his men at the Battle of Springfield, New Jersey to use pages torn from Isaac Watts hymnals as wadding for their muskets, while yelling, “Give ‘em Watts boys, put Watts into ‘em!”
* It was Lexington, Massachusetts Pastor Jonas Clark who helped to train and lead the men of his church and small town to become the famous Lexington Minutemen who stood against the British Redcoats in his very own churchyard at the Battle of Lexington, April 19, 1775.
* It was Pastor John Treadwell of Lynn, Massachusetts who is said to have kept a loaded flintlock rifle in his pulpit. Every Sunday, it is said that he climbed into his pulpit with his Bible under one arm and his cartridge box under the other.
* It was President of Princeton and Presbyterian Pastor John Witherspoon, who urged the men in Independence Hall, when they were wavering for fear, to sign the Declaration of Independence. Witherspoon was the only vocational preacher to sign the Declaration.
* It was New Jersey wilderness Pastor John Rosbrough who, while leading his men at the Second Battle of Trenton, New Jersey, was bayonetted to death by the British and Hessians while trying to surrender.
Who were these men? They were America’s “patriot preachers” – some of the most outspoken proponents of truth and liberty in 18th century America. Convinced that the Bible impacted every area of life – including politics, these brave pastors stood in their pulpits each Sunday wearing their black robes, preaching from God’s Word about spiritual and civil liberty. Because of their willingness to preach the “whole counsel” of God, their congregations were well prepared when the inevitable clash with the British came. Hated by the British who called them the “Black Regiment,” these courageous men “laid it all on the altar” for freedom.
Though largely forgotten today, their willingness to lead the men of their congregations onto the battlefields of our War of Independence to defend truth and liberty is one of the most inspiring stories in American history. Without their bold stand and brave deeds, America may never have come to be.
Dan grew up in Arkansas and felt God’s call to the ministry at a very early age. By the time he was 23, he was already serving as a full-time pastor. Forty-one years after preaching his very first sermon, Dan continues to serve in the ministry as the senior pastor of Liberty Church, Yukon, OK. He and his wife, Pam, have been married for 35 years and have two children and four grandchildren.
Throughout his life, Dan has believed that Christians cannot compartmentalize their lives into the “secular” and the “sacred,” but are called by Jesus to be “salt and light” in every area of society – including government. He believes that since we Americans live in a representative republic, it is essential that “we, the people” fulfill our duties as citizens – especially so for those who are Christians.
In 2008, Dan began presenting what has become his highly acclaimed “Bringing Back the Black Robed Regiment” presentation. In it, he tells the amazing and inspiring story of the Patriot Pastors of the 18th century who preached the biblical principles of liberty and government from their pulpits and when the time came, led the men of their congregations off to defend those principles on the battlefields of our War of Independence.
Over the years, the “Bringing Back the Black Robed Regiment” presentation has grown into a full-blown stage production. In full period costume, Dan uses multimedia and actual relics from the
War of Independence to challenge today’s church, especially pastors, to stand for liberty as the 18th century church did. As he travels around the country telling the Black Regiment story, Dan warns the church that if we do not stand as our founding generation stood, we could very well lose our republic and our liberties – especially religious liberty.
In 2012, while continuing to serve as a full-time pastor and while continuing to present his Black Regiment message around the country, Dan successfully ran for the Oklahoma Legislature where he served as a state representative for two terms. In 2015, feeling the need to commit more time to his church and Black Regiment ministry, Dan decided not to run for a third term in the Oklahoma legislature. At that same time, he also stepped down as the pastor of the thousand-member Trinity Baptist Church, Yukon where he had served for twenty-three years and helped to start Liberty Church, Yukon where he serves as pastor today.
Dan’s vision is that the church in America will regain the “spirit” of the original Black Regiment and once again actively engage in the defense of truth and liberty. Through his work as pastor, state representative, and leader in the modern Black Regiment movement, Dan endeavors to see that vision fulfilled.