On April 26, 1607, the ships Godspeed, Susan Constant, and Discovery first landed on the Cape Henry shores (now known as Virginia Beach). The expedition of English colonists, including Captain John Smith, was determined to establish the first permanent English settlement in America. During their first three days in the New World however, the settlers struggled mightily with sickness and were attacked by the Native Americans living in the area. There was talk of simply returning to England.
On April 29, Reverend Robert Hunt decided that their mistake was in not covenanting, praying over, and dedicating the land and their future journey to God first. He convinced the weary colonists to join him ashore where a cross was planted. Hunt then solemnly declared, "We do hereby dedicate this Land, and ourselves, to reach the People within these shores with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to raise up Godly generations after us, and with these generations take the Kingdom of God to all the earth. May this Covenant of Dedication remain to all generations, as long as this earth remains, and may this Land, along with England, be Evangelist to the World. May all who see this Cross, remember what we have done here, and may those who come here to inhabit join us in this Covenant and in this most noble work that the Holy Scriptures may be fulfilled."
He then read from Psalm 22, "All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to The Lord, and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Thee. For the Kingdom is The Lord’s and He is the Governor among the nations."
He concluded, praying, "Almighty and Merciful God, let us never stray from the Commission to which Thou has Called us—to bring the inhabitants of this Land to the knowledge of Thy Kingdom. Help us to be bearers of Thy Truth to those who so sorely need to receive it. Hasten the day, Oh God, when the knowledge of Thy Son shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. And even if we should fall short in Thy Calling, Thou shalt stir up our children after us and bestow upon them this blessed Land. Let us add our mite to the Treasury of Heaven. Use us, Oh God, weak instruments as we are, for the building up of Thy Kingdom which shall be gathered form all corners of the earth. Let it be said that God has made His ways known upon earth and His saving help among all nations. In the Name of our Holy Savior, Amen."