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Who Was Henry Fowlkes?
Written by Russ Hobbs   
It was April 1584 when ships filled with explorers and sailors came to the new world in search of many good things.  An English sailor by the name of Henry Fowlkes was one of those ships.  Fowlkes by nature was a religious man with a great interest in spiritual matters.  At one time he had studied to become an Anglican priest.  Fowlkes was a quiet man who loved nature and took long daily walks along the golden beaches.  On these walks he would commune with God and talk to the local Indians.  

One day Henry was out for his early morning strolls when he was met by natives of a tribe that he was not familiar with.  Henry is captured and forced into servitude.  He was often ridiculed and called the “squaw man” because of the menial labor that he was forced to complete.  Although in captivity he found it sad that many of the tribe were illiterate.  He taught many of the women and children and taught them stories about Jesus.  Before many moons passed this quiet humble man became a loved addition to many of the tribe.  However, he was also hated and feared by the shamans who believed that they would be attacked and killed by forest spirits because of his teaching about a God who came to earth as a human baby.  As the legend goes the shamans persuaded the chief to have Fowlkes killed to appease the forest spirits.

One early Autumn morning Henry Fowlkes was bound and taken to the very place where he had been captured.  His chains were removed and the shamans with their war clubs circled him.  From his horse the chief called out to Fowlkes and commanded that he give them a sign that he served the living God or he would surely be put to death that very hour.  Henry fell to his knees and silently cried out to God for help.  With his hands buried in the sand Henry felt his fingers close around a very familiar object to that part of the new world.  The sand dollar!  There were literally millions of sand dollars everywhere.  Henry believed that in moments God would deliver him from pending evil.  He humbly stood to his feet and looked up into the face of the chief and said; “Oh chief, my God has given me a symbol to show you this day.  The holy one, Jesus whom I have told your people about is God’s son who came here as a baby and grew to be a strong and honorable man and teacher of the people.  This Jesus was God in the flesh and here is the proof!  And with that statement he held up the sand dollar and showed the chief the symbol of God that was everywhere on those pristine beaches.  Henry explained that the markings on the symbol represented suffering marks brought to the lamb of God who died for the sin of the world.  Look, he said here is where the crown of thorns was placed and look at these markings, this is where the nails were driven through his hands and feet.”  The sand dollar was handed to the chief who began to tremble uncontrollably and the shamans dropped their war clubs in unbelief and ran away.  The chief was filled with fear and when the sand dollar broke in his hand and the pieces fell to the sand, the fragment pieces appeared to look like doves.  Henry said; and oh chief, the dove is the symbol of the Holy Spirit.  The chief turned his horse back toward his village and rode away.  

Henry stood alone in the very place where he had taken many earlier walks, delivered by the God whom he had trusted in for salvation. We are told that Henry left these beautiful shores and returned to his home in England where he completed his studies for the ministry.  It has been said that in the latter years of his life, Henry continued to teach and tell Bible stories to the children of England introducing them to Jesus Christ.  One of the objects that he would often take from his pocket when speaking was that simple well known object, the sand dollar.