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Does activity in the public square ruin a pastor’s ministry?

Q&A with South Carolina Pastor Brad Atkins, who helped lead a dying church to vibrant new life. Q&A ABOUT BEING A PASTOR & THE PUBLIC SQUARE You are a pastor who is active in the public square. How did that come about? Has this always been the case? No, I was brought up believing in the separation of church and state – as currently talked about by people and pastors. The idea that you can’t preach anything about political issues or get involved with policy issues. In January 2008, doctors found a cyst at the base of my brain...

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Pastor Raymond Cruz Runs for Office and Wins

Simi Valley, California, is most famous for being the home of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. If you’ve never seen the beauty of the area firsthand, just recall scenes from “Little House on the Prairie — as they filmed the show in the valley. I’m beginning a new series of interviews with Christians who have worked to take “Jesus into the Public Square” by running for local elected office. Many of these people attended Issachar Training workshops — campaign and election training sessions for Christian pastors who are considering a run for public office. Some will win and some will lose. Organizing for...

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Anti-slavery preacher buys guns for abolitionists

He was one of the most popular preachers in American in the middle 1800s. His name was Henry Ward Beecher. He purchased the chains that held John Brown in prison, dragging them across the stage and stomping on them as he preached against slavery. Beecher also supported women voting and Chinese immigration. A graduate of Amherst College, Henry Ward Beecher had thousands attend his enormous Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, New York, including Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman and Mark Twain. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., wrote a limerick about Henry Ward Beecher. “The Reverend Henry Ward Beecher, Called a hen an elegant creature,...

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Missouri pastor encourages congregants to run for local office

Brian Jump, pastor of First Baptist Church in Clever, Missouri (near Springfield) recently told me about a young deacon at his church who ended up winning a seat on the local school board. Why? It started when his daughter was introduced to a book in her school library — the kind of book that doesn’t belong in a school library. The man was pretty upset, but he did the right thing — he went and talked directly with some of the school administration. He told them he wasn’t a crazy, book burning kind of person, but he wondered if...

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