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Voter Values #3 By Pastor Joe

Voter Values #3 By Pastor Joe

For a good laugh, and so you know the history of your Pastor as it relates to politics, elections, and the importance of being an informed voter- In 1991 my tenure as Senior Pastor of the Northfield Assembly of God church began, and at the same time there was a massive “Get Out & Vote” and Voter Involvement Movement amongst the pro-life organizations across America. Pro-life Minnesota was gathering weeks before the caucuses, which are held prior to the election, where we learned how to become delegates for our BPOU (Basic Political Organization Unit).

Specifics about grassroots politics were discussed, such as how to put together a political bio for each person running for a delegate position. Looking back, it was a great way to meet the community and connect with other like-minded people. Especially as it relates to issues such as traditional family values, traditional marriage, the sacredness of human life and much more. Here is a little more history about the caucus process, for the Republican Party and Democrat Party- we were all encouraged to attend either party BPOU’s.

Having been in the military and having parents who were very conservative and traditionally voted Republican, the decision to join the Republican caucus made the most sense. During the gathering we each shared our views on issues and spoke about which items where the most pressing. The group immediately voted for me as the precinct BPOU chairman and then as a delegate of our Senate District of Rice County. Later on, many of us went to the Rice County Republican convention gathering to vote for different items such as: platform issues, county treasure, county secretary and many other elected positions. The elected County Republican delegates would serve not only at the state convention but also within the Rice County party.

During a previous election cycle, the chairman of the Rice County Republican party was beaten by a more moderate county chairman who created a lot of dissension within the ranks because of his moderate views. The current chairman at that time chose to not run again, and no one was willing to take the position for the county chairman. This was such a sad statement for a local political party, no one was willing to submit their name for the position in Rice County and its 50,000 constituents who desperately needed a leader. Leaning over towards another pastor, who was sitting right next to me, I spoke up and said “Nominate Me”.

All nominations had to come from the floor by someone other than yourself. The moment I was nominated the chairman of the convention took a voice vote rather than a secret ballot vote since there was no other challengers, and my four-year term as chairman began. Don’t forget- I’m just one year into my first Senior Pastor duties in the town of Northfield. Six years later, my chairmanship position ended upon the advisement of our church board since our congregation was filled with individuals from both major political parties. We all felt my political position would create a level of confusion and we did not want anyone to feel uncomfortable worshiping at our local fellowship.

Consider the following current day church/political involvement reality. Reverend Rafael Warnock is not only the Senior Pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, the same church where Martin Luther King Jr. served, but he is also the newest U.S. Senator for the state of Georgia. My historical position pales in comparison to what the current Senator/Pastor from Georgia has as it relates to influence. Stay informed!


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