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Reflections from Pastor David


Dear Friends: 

“The First Thanksgiving” 

Sometime during the fall of 1621, fifty-two British colonists and ninety Wampanoag Indians gathered for a three-day harvest feast. That event would take on continuing meaning until it became what we know as “Thanksgiving.” 

The First Thanksgiving meal was probably nothing like the “Martha Stewart” version we envision. New England food historians indicate there was no turkey, no cranberry sauce, and no pumpkin pie! 

A letter from Edward Winslow, one of the participants indicates they ate waterfowl – either duck or geese. When King Massasoit and 90 of his Wampanoag men arrived, they went hunting and killed five deer. 

The first Thanksgiving meal consisted of waterfowl and venison. While pumpkins were native to New England, the other ingredients for pumpkin pie and the crust weren’t avail- able. Besides, the colonists didn’t have any ovens yet! 

When the fifty-two colonists shared a three-day feast with the Wampanoag Indians, it was after a brutal year of disease, hunger, and flagging hopes. 

It began with their 65-day Atlantic Ocean crossing. They started with 102 men, women, and children. They were pressed into a space on the Mayflower that one historian describes as “the size of a city bus.” 

When they arrived in New England they faced a harsh winter. They were completely unpre-pared for it. Half of them died, mostly due to exposure. Fourteen of the eighteen wives died, leaving many orphaned children. 

Yet, as they gathered that next fall, they spent three days thanking God for their survival and their harvest. They worshipped God and read from the Scriptures. Although they could hardly have understood the language of their Wampanoag guests, they shared the celebra-tion. 

None of the participants knew they were starting what we have come to know as “Thanksgiving.” The Pilgrims were doing what they instinctively knew to do; they thanked God and prayed for better days ahead. 

This “Thanksgiving” may we approach God in similar fashion. May we be truly grateful for His provisions, His protection, and His providence in our lives. 


Dr. David W. Price 

Lead Pastor 



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