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Sunday Morning, November 30, 2014

8:30 & 11 am services

  • Speaking on Abraham Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural Address entitled Malice Toward None Charity for All and Lincoln's use of the Sermon on the Mount in the address.
10:10 am Sunday school
  • Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?

John was born and raised in Morris County, New Jersey (Montville/Boonton area) and completed his Ph.D in American History at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (1999) with a specialization in early American history. Prior to coming to Messiah College he taught American history at Valparaiso University (IN) where he served a two-year postdoctoral appointment with the Lilly Fellows Program in Arts and Humanities. He joined the history department at Messiah in the fall of 2002. His teaching includes the following courses:

  • United States History to 1865
  • Colonial America
  • Revolutionary America
  • Immigrant America
  • Civil War America
  • Teaching History and Social Studies
John writes, "As a scholar I think and write about American culture broadly defined, the intersection between ideas and everyday life in American history, the relationship between 'cosmopolitanism' and 'place,' the history of the early mid-Atlantic and New Jersey, and the connections between religion, politics and American culture." He is also interested in the role of church-related higher education in American society and the relationship between faith and academic life.


  • Chair, Department of History, Messiah College, 2010-
  • Associate Professor of American History, Messiah College, 2007--
  • Assistant Professor of American History and 2005-2007
  • Faculty Scholar Chair, Messiah College, 2002-


In addition to the published books below, Fea is currently working on two book projects: A Presbyterian Rebellion: The American Revolution in the Mid-Atlantic and The Greenwich Tea Burning: History and Memory in an American Town. The former is an attempt to reinterpret the coming of the American Revolution in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania by focusing on Presbyterian political activity. The latter explores the history and memory of a "tea party" that occured in 1774 in Greenwich, N.J.

Fea also blogs daily at The Way of Improvement Leads Home

Was America Founded as a Christian Nation? A Historical Introduction
Fea offers an even-handed primer on whether America was founded to be a Christian nation, as many evangelicals assert, or a secular state, as others contend. He approaches the title's question from a historical perspective, helping readers see past the emotional rhetoric of today to the recorded facts of our past. Readers on both sides of the issues will appreciate that this book occupies a middle ground, noting the good points and the less-nuanced arguments of both sides and leading us always back to the primary sources that our shared American history comprises.

Why Study History?: Reflecting on the Importance of the Past
In this introductory textbook, accomplished historian John Fea shows why Christians should study history, how faith is brought to bear on our understanding of the past, and how studying the past can help us more effectively love God and others. Deep historical thinking can relieve us of our narcissism; cultivate humility, hospitality, and love; and transform our lives more fully into the image of Jesus Christ.

Fea's first book, The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian and the Rural Enlightenment in Early America, focuses on the relationship between Presbyterianism and the social world of the Enlightenment through a biographical study of eighteenth-century New Jersey diarist Philip Vickers Fithian.

Confessing History: Explorations in Christian Faith and the Historian's Vocation
Co-edited with Jay Green and Eric Miller

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