By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
March 7, 2013
It’s no small wonder that Christian Action League Executive Director Mark Creech didn’t meet himself coming and going this past week as the organization’s activities across the state — including a Sunday night conference to celebrate the League’s 70th birthday — kept the Reverend on the run.
Featuring a word from N.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby as well as a sermon from Dr. Creech, the Christian Action Conference at Liberty Hill Baptist Church drew a crowd from the Spruce Pine area of western North Carolina. Several churches even canceled their own services to allow congregants to attend.
“What a magnificent conference the Christian Action League had in Spruce Pine,” Dr. Creech said. “The speech by Justice Paul Newby was as fine as I’ve ever heard. Justice Newby spoke about our roots as a Christian nation. He is unashamed in his profession of faith in Christ. His remarks thrilled the audience and gave hope of a better day when more of our state’s public servants may be like him.”
Dr. Creech brought a message from John 10:9, which proclaims Christ as the door to our salvation and liberty.
“My brethren, our nation is in peril today because there is a disconnect between the principles of Christianity and the principles of civil government,” he said. “Today we have less freedom both internal and external because of our refusal to obey Christ.”
Churches that forwent their own services to join the event at Liberty Hill include Big Rock Creek Baptist in Bakersville, Friendship Baptist in Old Fort, and Central and Crabtree Chapel Baptists, both in Spruce Pine. Also attending the conference were Daniel Whetstine, director of the Mitchell Baptist Association, and Rep. Josh Dobson (R) of Nebo, who represents Avery, McDowell and Mitchell counties in the N.C. House. Attendees were invited to stay after the service to enjoy birthday cake as to way to mark the CAL’s 70th year of shaping public-policy in North Carolina.
Rev. Creech found himself headed to Greensboro on Monday to present the CAL’s Students’ Rights in Public Schools Seminar for pastors at the Annual Convention of the Pentecostal Holiness Church in North Carolina.
“I was supposed to speak from 6 p.m. to 7 pm., but ended up speaking at their request from 6:15 to 7:40 because the seminar was found to be so helpful and encouraging,” Dr. Creech reported. “It was a marvelous time together with our Pentecostal friends.”
Backtracking from Greensboro to Taylorsville, Tuesday found the Rev. Creech in Alexander County being interviewed on a radio broadcast regarding the area’s upcoming alcohol referendum.
When the interviewer asked him to speak to proponents’ contentions that an expansion of alcohol marketing would bring fine dining restaurants to the county, Dr. Creech replied, “When communities are unable to attract chain restaurants that do not serve alcohol, that’s a good gauge they will not be able to attract those that do.
“Some of the chain restaurants that do not serve alcohol are Bob Evans, Cracker Barrel, Denny’s, Friendly’s, International House of Pancakes, etc.,” he added. “Promises of greater opportunities and prosperity for communities from an expansion of alcohol sales just never really become a reality. They’re just empty promises.”
Rev. Phil Addison of Stony Point Baptist, who is leading the Alexander Citizens for Faith and Family Values’ efforts in opposition to the March 19 alcohol referendum, said the radio show, which the organization funded, was very informative and that phone calls coming in afterward showed that folks on both sides of the issue were listening.
“We had Mark on the show to give insight as to how expanded alcohol sales would affect the county’s future,” he said. “A lot of what Mark said on the air is what I had been putting out on the ACFFV Facebook site and putting on my page as well, trying to get that information to the people. To hear it from him on the radio reinforces that message.”
ACFFV has been purchasing the local radio station’s 5 p.m. to 5:30 time slot each Tuesday and will continue to use it to try to challenge voters to say “No” to liquor by the drink, beer and wine sales and an ABC store in Alexander County. Although Taylorsville has an ABC store, voters there defeated further alcohol sales four years ago 57 to 43 percent.
Rev. Addison said some 2,700 people have already taken advantage of early voting. He said ACFFV sent a mass mailing to undecided voters this week as well as reminders to alcohol opponents to follow through and cast their ballots early. He said a joint service held March 3 at the Alexander County Auditorium drew a capacity crowd.
Following his radio interview, Rev. Creech was back on the road to Raleigh to prepare for Wednesday’s Joint Legislative Meeting on Sex Trafficking and a number of other committee meetings prior to Thursday’s session of the Legislature.
“We had a number of wonderful opportunities to share across the state this week, for which I am truly thankful,” he said.