By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
March 20, 2013
TAYLORSVILLE – Alexander County voters said no thanks to alcohol sales Tuesday, defeating all four ballot items in a referendum that drew some 43 percent to the polls.
“We join the folks in Alexander County praising the Lord for this victory,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “We thank Him for giving strength and courage to those who led this fight, those who were diligent in spreading the truth about alcohol. I must confess that I had some concerns when I first learned that all four initiatives for alcohol marketing were on the ballot. Obviously, the pro-alcohol proponents were engaging in a Blitz campaign, the objective of which is to blitz opponents in the hope of getting one measure through to passage. Blitz campaigns like the one carried out in Alexander County, rarely, if ever, are soundly defeated on all counts. This victory is a testimony to God’s grace and the stupendous leadership of pastors and other concerned citizen Christians who worked to defeat the referendum.”
Unofficial results released by the Alexander County Board of Elections, which recorded 10,263 total votes, show that residents were most opposed to liquor by the drink at 54 to 46 percent, while malt beverage and unfortified wine sales were defeated, 53 to 47 percent. Voters were less concerned about the possibility of having an ABC store, but still voted it down, 51 to 49 percent.
Leading the opposition to alcohol sales was the Alexander Citizens for Faith and Family Values, with the Rev. Phillip Addison, pastor of Stony Point Baptist, at the helm.
Rev. Addison thanked those who helped on the campaign against alcohol sales, which began even before the date for the referendum was set and included roadside signs, targeted mass mailings, weekly radio shows, a huge joint service on March 3 and much more. But he said the work is far from over and that Christians must take the lead in seeking healing for the rift in the community left behind by the referendum.
“This issue as pushed our county apart. We need to pray for healing,” he said.
“It is time to leave the four walls of our churches and engage our communities and county like never before,” Rev. Addison posted on his Facebook page, urging followers of Christ to “Educate our neighbors, edify one another, engage our communities, evangelize the lost and exalt our Savior!”
He further said that the close vote had revealed that the county had changed and that the community of faith had not bee as proactive as they should be.
“Many of the people on the other side of this issue really do want the best for Alexander County. Most are not our enemies,” he wrote. “Of course we don’t think alcohol is the answer. So we need to be active in the process of finding the solutions to our issues.”
Alcohol proponents had touted sales of beer, wine and mixed drinks as the ticket to county prosperity, claiming that such sales would draw chain restaurants and other businesses to Alexander County while keeping revenue that is currently benefiting neighboring cities inside county lines.
But Addison said its guidance from God that is most needed.
“We need to turn to Him like never before,” he said. “I hope we can continue to come together for the sake of the county on more than just fighting alcohol.”
He said the fact that more than 10,000 went to the polls is encouraging because it shows that the people of Alexander care about their county.