Chattanooga, TN, is the beginning of the Trail of Tears, the beginning of what many call the American Holocaust or Genocide - The ethnic cleansing and forced relocation of Native American nations from southeastern parts of the United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Residing in Chattanooga, Bettye is particularly passionate about seeing Native Americans and African Americans restored to each other and to white Americans.
During this hellish time of infamy in our nation, a remnant of these people groups made a covenant with the LORD at the Brainerd Mission and kept it even as they went on the trail together.
On September 28, 1817 the Church of Christ of Chickamaugah (later called Brainerd – the Church of the Brainerd Mission) made the following covenant with the LORD and each other:
“We do now in the presence of the heart searching God and before Angels and Men solemnly avouch the Lord Jehovah, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, to be our God, our Father, our Redeemer, and our Sanctifier; and we cheerfully give up ourselves, our children and all that we have to Him to be His forever, purposing and engaging, so far as we know the state of our hearts to submit our souls, our bodies and all that concerns us to the government and disposal of His sovereign and holy pleasure for time and eternity. We do also engage by His gracious assistance, without which we can do nothing, to renounce forever, as objects of chief pursuit, the World, its pleasures, its riches. its honors, and our own private interest as infinitely inferior, in worth, in excellence, and in glory, to the worth, the excellence and the glory of the ever-blessed God; and we do therefore accept, most cordially of Him, in His whole character, as our chief portion to enjoy, choosing His will as our will, His service as our service, and His honor and glory in all things, as the supreme object of our affection and pursuit,- and inasmuch as it hath pleased Him in His condescension and mercy, to appoint us to the sacred work of building up the Kingdom … to associate ourselves to each other as brethren; promising to watch over each other in Christian love; to encourage, to counsel, to admonish, to reprove and to assist each other, and willingly to be counseled, reproved, admonished and assisted according to the instruction of Christ. We do further engage to submit ourselves to the discipline prescribed by the Redeemer, and to the particular administration of it in the church; to observe all ordinances, and commandments of the Gospel and to do what we can to instruct by prayer, by precept and example, our children, and all others committed to our charge, and thus prepare them by the blessing of God to unite with us in the same service and joy of our glorious Redeemer. And may God enable us by His free grace, faithfully to perform our covenant engagements, which we this day renewedly make to Him, to each other, and to our fellow man. Even so Lord Jesus;- Amen.
Thus we ascribe ourselves to be the Lord's and His only forever"
Robert Sparks Walker, Torchlight to the Cherokees (Johnson City, TN: The Overmountain Press, 1990), pp.121, 122.