David French

What's A Room Full Of Pastors Ready To Engage In The Public Square Look Like?

Here's a picture of Monday's Annual Pastors For Family Values Pastors Summit, held in Richmond. About 250 pastors from around Virginia and from all denominations heard from religious liberty experts worthy of a national convention: Virginia Fourth District Congressman and Founder of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Randy Forbes, historian and Wallbuilders Founder David Barton, scholar and Ameriseach Founder Bill Federer, Alliance Defense Fund Chief Legal Counsel David French and PFFV Chaplain and S.T.A.N.D. Founder Bishop E.W. Jackson, Sr. If you think we had a motivated bunch before . . . .

pastotrs summit 2010

What do you get when you have a room full of pastors? A modern "Black Robe Regiment" which the pastors who led the call for independence from Britain were called. Today, such pastoral leadership in the public square is just as much in demand.

"Every Speaker Was Inspiring, Informative And Motivating"

Those are the words of just one of the nearly 250 pastors and church leaders from around the commonwealth who gathered in Richmond yesterday for The Family Foundation and Pastors For Family Values Pastor Summit. This year's theme was, "A Passion to Preserve Our Religious Liberty." From the opening time of praise and worship to the closing stirring address by our own chaplain, Bishop E.W. Jackson, Sr., we were, as another pastor said, "enlightened, convicted, and motivated." It was great to have so many longtime Family Foundation pastors combined with many new faces who are committed to discipleship in the area of civic involvement.

Our first speaker, Congressman Randy Forbes, provided an insiders look at some of the ridiculous attacks on our religious founding that he has fought against in Washington, D.C., such as when the new Capitol visitor center would not allow the Pledge of Allegiance because it references "God"! We so appreciate the work of Congressman Forbes as he has led the fight to protect our history in Washington.

Of course, many in the room came to hear from our keynote speaker, historian David Barton. Barton addressed the crowd twice and once again supplied an extraordinary amount of information about our founding — in particular, the role that clergy played in our fight for independence. As always, he was informative and motivational. One pastor told of praying with a colleague after the event who was spiritually convicted by David's words.

Perhaps the most moving address of the day came from Alliance Defense Fund attorney David French. He spoke about the direct attacks on Christian religious liberty taking place on our college campuses and how ADF has defended the rights of dozens of students and professors. He told of how much courage it takes for a college student to stand up to the threats and intimidation of college administrators, professors and other students. But he then told his own personal story of volunteering for the Army at age 37 and going to Iraq to fight for our freedom. He talked of God's provision and how our God is bigger than any threat we face. We also heard a presentation by Bill Federer concerning the history and philosophy of Islam and the threats it presents to both our religious and political liberties.

Other words and phrases used by pastors to describe yesterday’s summit include "excellent," "outstanding," "a wonderfully inspiring and educational conference," and "best equipping event I’ve ever attended."

It is our firm belief that unless pastors take the lead in educating and motivating their congregations to action in civil government we cannot be successful in returning our commonwealth and nation to their founding principles. That is why we are so encouraged by yesterday’s event. The pastors who came left energized and ready to take the lead. As a result, we know Virginia will never be the same.

Pastors Summit In Richmond September 20 Features David Barton, Congressman Randy Forbes, Bill Federer And Bishop E.W. Jackson, Sr.

Since our founding 25 years ago, The Family Foundation has worked to engage pastors in the civic process. With new threats to religious liberty and the rights of the church to proclaim publically the gospel exposed every day, there is no time like the present to get involved. In that vein, on September 20, our Pastors for Family Values outreach arm is holding its third annual Pastors Summit, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at the Ramada Plaza Richmond West (directions, information). More than 200 pastors from all corners of the commonwealth already have committed to attending. More are welcome as we have assembled a lineup of extraordinary speakers whose credentials rival that of any national convention, and of which we barely scratch the surface here, including: 

» Historian David Barton, Founder and President of WallBuilders, who appears frequently on cable news channels (see interview with Mike Huckabee on Fox News Channel); 

» Virginia 4th District Congressman Randy Forbes, Founder and Co-chairman of The Congressional Prayer Caucus, whose House floor speech on religious liberty is one of the most watched Congressional speeches ever (see video);

» Bishop E. W. Jackson, Sr., Family Foundation Chaplain and President of S.T.A.N.D., a national organization dedicated to maintaining America's Judeo-Christian heritage;

» Alliance Defense Fund Senior Counsel David French, one of the country's top religious liberty attorneys, (see Fox News interview with Laura Ingraham, here);

» Author and lecturer Bill Federer (see video), President of Amerisearch and frequently quoted in the media; and

» Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb, a recent participant in the 2010 The King's College Distinguished Visitor Series.

The theme this is, "A Passion to Preserve Our Religious Liberty," which is timely with new and greater threats to our religious liberty emerging almost every day, coming at us from every direction. It is imperative that pastors are equipped and engaged for the inevitable battles that lie ahead, and the reknown speakers addressing the summit will educate and inspire. 

The event is free for pastors, but registration is required (click here). Summit information, including hotel room discounts, can be found there. If you are not a pastor, but think your pastor should know about the summit, please share this link with him. For more details, please call Roger Pogge at 804-343-0010 or e-mail him at roger@familyfoundation.org. It is vitally important that every pastor in Virginia is informed and encouraged to engage the culture in this very important area of our faith.

Bishop E.W. Jackson, Sr., speaking at a Pastors For Family Values event in Norfolk earlier this year, where he underscored the importance of pastor engagement in the public square.