Christian Action League
TAYLORSVILLE – Attendees at the Christian Action League’s first annual meeting of its Western Convention were inspired, informed and invigorated on Oct. 28 as speakers addressed critical state and national legislative issues.
The Rev. Mark Creech, longtime pastor and executive director of the Christian Action League, brought the issues home to a crowd of more than 225 with a rousing sermon focusing on Christ, the author of our spiritual liberty and the freedoms on which our nation was founded.
Oxford Memorial Baptist Church hosted the meeting, the first of three regional conventions designed to help Christians throughout the Tar Heel state connect with the organization representing their values in Raleigh. CAL supporters from at least eight western North Carolina counties attended.
“I would highly recommend that pastors across the state attend their regional CAL meeting,” said the Rev. Neal Walker, Oxford’s pastor, who had mailed out invitation letters to promote the event at his church. “I would encourage the other host pastors to invite folks who aren’t yet involved with the Christian Action League so they can see what it’s about.”
Speakers for the evening included John Rustin from the North Carolina Family Policy Council, who addressed the need for a Marriage Amendment in the N.C. Constitution and the importance of keeping abstinence-based sex education in the schools; North Carolina Right to Life’s Barbara Holt, who brought the crowd up to speed on abortion and euthanasia issues; and Luanne Williams, with the CAL, who talked about the potential for privatization of liquor sales and medicinal marijuana.
Gary Jennings, with Alexander County Faith and Family Values, talked about the community’s recent victory over liquor-by-the-drink proponents and challenged those in the area to be ready to continue the fight as the issue will come up again in three years.
Encouragement was the overarching theme of the evening as the Rev. Walker opened with Exodus 1:15-21, the story of the Hebrew midwives who were ordered to kill newborn boys. Fearing God more than the king of Egypt, the two women let them live and were blessed for their courageous stand.
“It pays to serve God,” Walker reminded the crowd, “even when times are hard.”
Similarly, Holt challenged those in attendance not to grow weary in well doing. And Rustin reminded them to be ready to pay the price and not back down when the issues seem daunting.
The encouragement continued with special praise music from the Oxford Memorial Choir; and the crowd watched a DVD presentation showcasing Creech’s work in the Legislature, not only researching issues and presenting lawmakers with needed information, but also his consistent relationship of building and ministering to our state’s leaders.
The Rev. Greg Barefoot, a member of the CAL Board of Directors who has taken a growing role as spokesman for the Raleigh-based organization, moderated the meeting where more than 30 pastors and a number of CAL Advisory Board members received informational packets and copies of the previewed DVD to share with their congregations and communities.
“I got a lot of information and would wholeheartedly recommend that other pastors attend the meeting in their area,” said the Rev. Tony Dyson, pastor of Concord Baptist in Stony Point and a CAL Advisory Board member. “I took notes and really enjoyed the speakers.”
Dyson said he receives legislative updates via the CAL’s regular e-mails and tries to stay informed, but still learned quite a bit that he hadn’t heard before at the Western Convention meeting.
“This type of informational meeting is so needed among pastors,” he said. “Sometimes all we hear is what the local news tells and we don’t get the whole story.
“I think these upcoming meetings are something that every pastor in North Carolina, if they have the opportunity, they ought to be there to learn and to take this information back to their church and their community.”
The two remaining regional CAL annual meetings are set for Monday, Nov. 17 at Grace Church in Greenville (Pitt County) for the eastern region; and Thursday, Nov. 20 at Coats Baptist in Harnett County for those in central North Carolina. The meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be followed by refreshments.
Pre-registration is not required, but Advisory Board members will want to pick up their information packets at the registration table when they arrive. They are also asked to nominate others for the Advisory Board and to bring them to the Annual Meeting in their area.