By Faith Alone by Bill Griffeth

Praise for By Faith Alone

“Fascinating.” -Tom Brokaw

“Enthralling . . . Bill Griffeth shows directly how his own four-hundred-year family history is a microcosm of American Protestant history.”

-John Dominic Crossan,
author of God & Empire

“Weaving history, faith, and family, By Faith Alone is a work of love that is equally inspirational and educational and, not least, a fascinating journey from beginning to end.”

-Bishop Jeremiah J. Park, New York Area
United Methodist


Bill Griffeth has been a journalist covering Wall Street and the world of high finance for a quarter of a century. But when he made the startling discovery that his eight-times great-grandmother was convicted and executed during the Salem witch trials of 1692, he began to research the biggest story of his life: the four-hundred-year history of his family and of our country’s Protestant roots. It was a history that dated back to the seventeenth century and the English Puritans and Separatists who fled to North America for an uncertain future.

His travels took him to the fishing village in England where his earliest ancestors lived and worshipped; to the Netherlands, where they sought refuge from persecution; and to the sites in New England and New York where they were members of colonial villages with legendary names : Salem, Plymouth, and New Amsterdam. They were Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, and Methodists, and they had a startling connection to the founder of the Mormon Church.

Griffeth’s account includes not only the stories of his long-forgotten relatives but also of some of their neighbors and colleagues whom history still remembers, including Plymouth’s great governor William Bradford, New Amsterdam’s swashbuckling director general Peter Stuyvesant, the infamous Salem witch trial judge Colonel John Hathorne, and the stouthearted Methodist bishop Francis Asbury.

By Faith Alone is a rich history of our country’s Protestant heritage. It is also one man’s journey of more than ten thousand miles and four centuries, and his personal desire to understand the courage and faith of his distant family members and to better appreciate how religion and the context of history shape his own life even today.

Copyright © 2007 Bill Griffeth. All rights reserved.
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