Director says Ferrell will fill much needed role.
By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
RALEIGH — After 55 years of shepherding God’s people from the pulpit, the Rev. Ernest Ferrell is taking on a new role — that of training, developing and motivating believers to impact the political process for Christ via the Christian Action League.
Named the organization’s Director of Development June 25, the Durham native has already begun to share the Christian Action League’s story with like-minded leaders across the state and plans a variety of ways to spread the word about they can get involved.
“I think I’m going to be doing as much education as anything else because many people don’t know what we do or how valuable the Christian Action League is to the Christian community in North Carolina,” Ferrell said. “I’ll be showing them the benefits of having the CAL in the General Assembly on a regular basis to help protect family values … moral values … the things they try to get across every Sunday in their pulpits.
“From a legislative standpoint, we’re there fighting those battles for them, and I’ll be encouraging them to become a part of it.”
The Rev. Ferrell will reach out to Christians in all denominations and also work to increase the CAL’s profile in the business community.
“We are very blessed to have the Rev. Ernest Ferrell fill this much needed role,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, the CAL’s executive director. “His years of experience — not only at the local church but at the associational, state and national levels — will serve us well.”
A member of Grey Stone Baptist Church in Durham when he accepted the Lord and was ordained, the Rev. Ferrell founded nearby Ridgecrest Baptist in 1955. From there he pastored a mission church for First Baptist of Durham and then led Ebenezer Baptist for 12 years and Bethesda Baptist for nine. His only pastorate outside of Durham was at First Baptist of Robbins. He went back to his hometown in 2003 to Edgewood Baptist where he retired in April ending a seven-year stint that saw the church relocate and build a new sanctuary. He and his wife of 55 years have a daughter and two grandchildren, all of Durham.
Now interim pastor at Park View Baptist, the Rev. Ferrell said God laid the CAL position on his heart, and he realized that not only his ministry posts but other career experiences could help him as well.
Between two church appointments, he spent a year working as a fundraiser for World Literature Crusade (now Every Home for Christ) and also has experience in estate planning and planned giving. The Rev. Ferrell has served on the resolutions and nominations committees of the Southern Baptist Convention, has been actively involved in the Baptist State Convention and served as moderator for two different associations.
“When this came up at the Christian Action League, I realized that all my experiences could be helpful. God was putting it together in my own heart,” said Ferrell, who has been a Civitan member since 1965 and has held the office of president of both the Durham and Friendly City chapters. He was lieutenant governor of the N.C. District East for 2008-2009 and is currently director of that district.
As Ferrell shares the CAL’s mission and needs with Christians across North Carolina, he’ll be looking for partners to commit to help the ministry on a monthly basis — via prayer, grassroots networking and financial support.
“One of our goals will be to try to bring 365 churches on board who will support the ministry to the tune of $50 per month or $600 a year,” Ferrell said. “Even the smallest churches could be involved.”
As day sponsors of the Christian Action League, the churches would be encouraged to bring members to Raleigh on their designated day to learn more about their investment in the ministry.
“If the Legislature is in session, they could come and bring members of their church and we would take them on a tour of the General Assembly. We can show them firsthand what we’re about,” Ferrell said.
He is also planning to organize rallies and other events designed to inform and inspire at the grassroots level.
“I will be calling on Christian Action League advisory board members and others on the local level for help as we spread the word,” he said.
Initially formed as The Allied Church League and with its focus primarily on alcohol issues, the Christian Action League greatly expanded the scope of its ministry in 1958 and now addresses all matters of public policy it deems pertinent to protecting and sustaining a righteous culture.
With a full-time lobbying presence in the General Assembly, the CAL addresses everything from religious liberty and biomedical ethics to marriage and family, gambling, pornography and the sanctity of human life.
The CAL has 345 Advisory Board members across the state and represents conservative evangelicals from 17 denominations.