Pastor Rob McCoy’s July 4 Fireside Chat 105: Happy Birthday America; honors man’s moon landing; remembers Rev. Billy Graham address 50 years ago

By Michael Hernandez

NEWBURY PARK—Godspeak Pastor Rob McCoy recounted both President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 challenge for America to reach the moon by the end of the decade and the historic July 4th “Honor America” 1970 speech by Rev. Billy Graham at the Lincoln Memorial during Fireside Chat 105. 

“John F. Kennedy looked to the stars and inspired America,” said Pastor McCoy on May 25, 1961 to “put a man on the moon and thus began the space race. America would put a man on the moon by the close of the decade; as the greatest scientists and engineers came together.

“In December of 1968, we sent up Apollo 8 which was the first capsule to go around the moon and orbit earth as well. Then the largest audience in the history of the world, heard from the three astronauts orbiting the moon (the Creation story from Genesis) with the Crew of Apollo 8 saying, ‘Merry Christmas. God bless all of you and the good earth.’”

Finally, on July 20, 1969 man landed on the moon and six hours and 39 minutes later on July 21, 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to step on the moon saying: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Rev. Billy Graham would reference American institutions that were under attack in Washington, D.C. one year later on July 4, 1970 in a message in which he talked about “those voices who gave us the dream that became America.

Rev. Billy Graham’s “Honor America” July 4, 1970 Lincoln Memorial speech

“Our institutions are under attack but America still believes in them. America needs to sing again. America needs to celebrate again. America needs to wave the flag again.”

Rev. Graham said we needed to honor the nation because:

  1. America has opened her heart (to others).
  2. America is the most generous nation in history.
  3. America has never hidden her problems or faults.
  4. America honestly recognizes and is trying to solve social problems.
  5. America defends the right of its citizens to dissent.
  6. America has faith in God.

“I call America to raise her voice to God and recommit to (her founding) ideas. I say to you, pursue the vision and fulfill the American dream. Never give in. Never. Never. Never.”

According to Pastor McCoy, America’s “faults are universal but our successes are unique. We are an amazing nation. It is a good time to be alive. We need to look up to the heavens so that God can bless. As we look forward to our future, God will bless America.”

Fireside Chat 105 ended with the singing of Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” written in 1918 and sung by Kate Smith on her CBS radio show on Nov. 10, 1938.

The night before, during the July 3 Fireside Chat 104, Pastor McCoy (along with David Glienke) reviewed four memorable Independence Day celebrations in America which included:

  • July 4, 1776
  • July 4, 1826
  • July 4, 1863
  • July 4, 1965

(Editor: To see Fireside Chat 105: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWOT2kgLIRQ. To view Fireside Chat 104 go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAAViKJG7Gs.)

Godspeak Pastor Rob McCoy

Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service; editor of the History Makers Report and founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He worked 25 years as a middle school teacher in Monrovia and Los Angeles Unified School Districts. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected].


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