Christian Action League
GASTONIA — The Christian Action League of North Carolina lost a close friend with the passing of Sen. Jim Forrester (R-Gaston) on Monday. The longtime Republican lawmaker died at Gaston Memorial Hospital surrounded by his family. He was 74.
A retired physician and U.S. Air Force veteran who was elected to the N.C. Senate for 11 terms, Forrester was best known in recent years for his support of the Marriage Protection Amendment. He had introduced the legislation eight times before it finally made it to the floor and was passed in September. The proposal to amend the state Constitution to clarify marriage as between one man and one woman will go to voters in May.
Passionate about the fight for traditional marriage, Sen. Forrester also signed on to a number of other bills that the Christian Action League supported this session, among them Laura’s Law, the Choose Life Specialty License Plate, and the Unborn Victims of Violence Act. During the 2011 session, he had served as co-chairman of two transportation committees and was vice chairman of the Senate Health Care Committee. He was named deputy Senate leader after the Republican Party took control this year.
Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League noted:
“Although I rejoice in the knowledge that my dear brother and friend, Sen. Jim Forrester, is now in the presence of our Lord, I am also greatly saddened at his passing. A great champion for Christian values has fallen. Whether it was about alcohol policy, public health issues, or protection for the institution of marriage and the family, Sen. Forrester was consistently on the right side. Without question, he served the great state of North Carolina from a thoroughly Christian worldview. I am quite certain he goes to an abundant reward.
During my twelve year tenure as a lobbyist, not a session passed that Sen. Forrester and I did not break bread together. I sat in his office on numerous occasions to discuss various pieces of legislation. His door was not only constantly open to the Christian Action League, but it never had a better ally. I will personally miss both his fellowship and partnership.
I encourage everyone who supports and makes up the vast network of churches and volunteers of the Christian Action League to pray now for his wonderful wife, Mary Frances Forrester, their children, as well as all the other members of Sen. Forrester’s family.
My earnest prayer is that God would fill his empty Senate seat with someone like him. Better still, I pray that God would fill every seat in the North Carolina House, Senate, and the United States Congress, with people of equal character and Christian commitment. God hasten the day!”
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle also praised Sen. Forrester’s leadership skills. Even when illness required him to receive blood transfusions, his peers said his service to the people of the 41st District never wavered.
Dr. Forrester’s obituary can be found here: http://obits.
- The family will receive friends from 6:00 p. m. to 9:00 p. m. Saturday at the First Baptist Church, 409 Old Mt. Holly Road, Stanley, North Carolina.
- Funeral services will be 3:00 P. M. Sunday at the First Baptist Church, with Pastor Billy Shaw officiating.
- The James S. Forrester, Sr. MD Family Medicine Endowment at Wake Forest University School of Medicine has been established by the family in honor and remembrance of their father’s commitment to public service. The endowment will fund scholarships for medical students who pursue a career in Family Medicine and intend to practice in North Carolina. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Wake Forest School of Medicine for the James S. Forrester, Sr. MD Scholarship in Family Medicine, c/o Office of Development, P. O. Box 571021, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157.
- Cards and condolences can be sent to:
Mary Frances Forrester
P.O. Box 459
Stanley, NC 28164
Mary Frances’ email: firstname.lastname@example.org