David Seppi

David Seppi, DT, California
David Seppi DT California

After football years at Berkeley, getting a teaching credential from San Jose State, time with Campus Crusade, boxing at The New Oakland Boxing Club, police academy and failure after six months of police work, I headed back to Jackson, Ca. to live with my parents with a heartsick feeling that I could be a disappointment to my police lieutenant dad.

While substitute teaching, I read Carl Sandburg’s books deifying Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and The War Years. I was amazed that a man could be so good.

I taught in an outdoor school, posing as Abraham Lincoln, dawned in a stove-pipe hat, reciting his Gettysburg address at campfire.

While attending Campus Crusade’s Summer Bible Institute at Colorado State University, I was halfway to Illinois. It was a grand opportunity to see the Lincoln sites. I drove to various towns where he had been a circuit riding lawyer, visited museums and read the roadside signs. I saw a quaint sign in Bloomington that led me to later develop a friendship with Elwell Chrissey, author of Lincoln’s Lost Speech. I was taken with Lincoln’s beautiful prose in his 1863 letter to Mrs. Bixby, mother of five sons who were all killed in the War Between the States.

As Lincoln boarded the back of a train, he gave his Farewell to Springfield address, before becoming president. Reading Lincoln’s speech, gave me the sense that a deity was leaving Springfield.

I took a sixth-grade teaching position in the valley, where Lincoln’s portrait hung on my classroom wall.

David and Esther Seppi

It was then, at age 33, I met and married a school teacher sweetheart. We read together from five to six each morning. Our first five years of this was better than a college education. God blessed us with seven, all home-schooled.

The Seppi Family

In 1997 our first son, at ten-years-old, took a budding interest in the War Between the States, from a very different perspective. Advised by his older sister, Lance listened to Steve Wilkins, (author of America’s first 350 Years) from an East-coast Worldview Student Conference on a walkman while mowing his grandma’s lawn, and convinced us with what he was learning. You will note Lance’s punchy statements in the documentary.

Several years later we attended a church that held great history conferences, with John Weaver, Pastor David Whitney, Gary DeMar, Colonel John Eidsmoe, Ovid Need, among many others.

We were delighted to see some of those same speakers at the gigantic Jamestown 400-year Celebration in 2007. The parking lot looked like an ocean of full sized vans.

Driving back from Virginia gave us opportunity to visit Ovid & Betty Need in WV (Author of Death of the Church Victorious), Pastor and author Steve Wilkins, (author of Face to Face, Robert E Lee and Donnie Kennedy, author of The South was Right and Lincoln’s Marxists in Louisiana.

We later interviewed many of the men you see in the documentary and got help from a dear friend with making this movie.

Esther Seppi

We live in the Central San Joaquin Valley of the great state of California.

My college years were at a Christian college, mostly in Point Loma (San Diego). My student teaching was in Santee, home of a fine Creation and Earth History Museum, where I worked in a mobile teacher resource center.

In a small town that I affectionately call, “Little Mexico” was the place God gave me to teach for six years. During those years, I met and married David.

When God sent our firstborn, it was time for me to retire from teaching in public school to train our own.

David loves reading, listening to, and talking with great leaders. He reminds me of a poster that says, “I’ve grown taller from walking with the trees.”

Guests bless our home. One elderly couple who visited us back in 1986, was Elwell & Densie Chrissey from Springfield, Illinois. Elwell is the author of Lincoln’s Lost Speech also the unpublished, Washington: Colossus of Faith. He revealed to us that Lincoln’s character did not hold a candle to Washington’s.

Our firstborn loved to work and read and had words of wisdom. I admonished our talkative son, Lance, at age ten, to be quiet and listen to his older sister. When she encouraged him to study the Civil War, he took to it like a duck to water. He soon edified us from his learning.

Steve Wilkins with the Seppi Family

Steve Wilkins gave us our start in understanding America’s Uncivil war. He has many entertaining stories quoting from the Slave narratives. Steve said it was 6% of the South who actually owned slaves, and most were one family to one family or one family with one or two servants who worked with their master in the fields. Pastor Wilkins’ church had a lovely hospitality house where we stayed when visiting. Steve brought his family over with dinner. His book, Face to Face reflects his heart for gracious hospitality.

It was at Steve’s church that I first experienced wine for communion—a sweet southern wine. They told us that even during prohibition, wine was permitted for communion.

One great reference book is John Dwyer’s, The War Between the States, America’s Uncivil War. John came out to California in 2006 on a speaking tour, spoke in our church the following Sunday. He shared the story and a sermon from John Jasper, the 50 year black preacher that you see “Uncle Gregory” act out in the movie.

Traveling through the Southern States in 2007, we discovered a friendly hospitable people that we came to love.

Donnie Kennedy and his precious wife Bettie invited us to their lovely home which is patterned after Jefferson Davis’. His books including The South was Right, and interviews are superb.

Interview with Clyde Wilson
Interview with Clyde Wilson

We have not read many of Clyde Wilson’s books, but his “From Union to Empire, Essays in the Jeffersonian Tradition” demonstrates why we suffer today. Though Clyde Wilson is no longer able to speak well, he invited Paul Graham to his home for us to interview.

Paul Graham shared that he grew up in Columbia, So. Carolina, where he earned two master degrees without ever hearing that Columbia was burned by the Yankees during that most Uncivil War. He compiled a book filled with stories taken from the Slave Narratives, When the Yankees Come.

Dr. Morecraft gave us direction as he encouraged us to explain that this War was a war on the Church.

Kilpatrick Sale told us that the North had a hard time dividing the Southern people because the blacks and whites lived in close relationship, nursing each other’s babies as needed.

Don Livingston, founder of Abbeville Institute, gave us a tour of the Hampton Plantation, servants quarters, and a church where servants shared pews with their masters. He told us that George Washington remarked about the massive oak out front when visiting there, so they named it the Washington Tree.

The most touching interview is with Jesse Lee Peterson. I was not with David and sons for that interview in East LA, but his is one that you don’t want to miss.

John Weaver gave a talk about slavery in America today. Yes, and it is much worse now. He has 600 talks on Sermon Audio, so you may be able to find one like it there.

Many pastors in the 1800’s encouraged their people to line up with scripture stating that for those with servants, it must be done biblically.

There was a higher percentage of slaves set free voluntarily in the Southern States than in any other country of the world.

We pray this documentary will encourage you to continue your education of that War of Northern Aggression, as a war of persecution of the Christian South and understand how it relates to the trials of our day.

I loved Kate Cumming’s Journal of a Confederate Nurse. Even my husband liked it so well, that he added more of her words for the conclusion of the documentary.

David and Esther Seppi
-David and Esther Seppi