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In Their Own Words

March 25, 1740

Diary Entry on Bethesda Beginning

George Whitfield recorded in his diary the laying of the first brick of his Bethesda Orphan House:

“Went this day to Bethesda, and with full Assurance of Faith laid the first Brick of the great House. The Workmen attended, and with me kneeled down and prayed. After we had sung a Hymn suitable to the Occasion, I gave a Word of Exhortation to the Labourers, and bid them remember to work heartily, knowing that they work for God and not for Man. Much Satisfaction seemed to be amongst them, and blessed be God’s holy Name, his Work prospers much in our Hands! Near twenty Acres of Land are cleared, and almost ready for Planting. Two Houses are already raised, and one near upon being finished. All the Timber for the Frame of the great House is sawn, and most of it brought to the Place where it is to be built. A good Part of the Foundation is dug, and many Thousands of Brick ready for Use. Near forty Children are now under my Care… .”

Source: [no author or editor cited], Our First Visit in America: Early Reports from the Colony of Georgia, 1732-1740 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1974), p. 302.