As Australia examines its birth as a nation, there is evidence of God’s handiwork in the men and women involved in the formation of the new colony. The appointment of Australia’s first chaplain, the Reverend Richard Johnson, is another example of God working through His people to create a colony where He would be able to do His will in the years following its establishment.
Richard Johnson was appointed Chaplain of the New South Wales prison colony in 1786. According to historian Mike Spencer, who wrote One people, One Destiny: A Christian History of Australia, this appointment was due in large part to the influence of two notable men.
John Newton, author of the song Amazing Grace, and William Wilberforce, who eventually helped abolish slavery in the British Empire, advocated for a committed evangelical Christian to take the role of chaplain in the new colony.
On this episode of 20Twenty, Mike Spencer joined us to explore the appointment of Chaplain Richard Johnson, where Australia’s Christian heritage originated from, and its Biblical foundation.
Listen to the full interview below: