OCU Hosts Governor Mike Huckabee
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee spoke to a crowd of nearly 1300 people at Faith and Freedom rally hosted by OCU.
On October 27, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee headlined the Faith and Freedom Rally at Ohio Christian University, speaking to a crowd of almost 1,300 people in the Leadership Center on the campus of OCU. The event opened with music from Bucyrus, a 50 piece band and choir who performed patriotic music throughout the event. Dr. Ralph Reed kicked off the event with a call for people who believe in time honored values, stronger families, and individual freedom to speak up by voting in the upcoming election. In 2009, Dr. Reed founded the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a web based organization that embraces such issues as the sanctity of life, marriage, and family.
Reed was followed by Dr. Ken Blackwell, chairman of the Ohio Faith and Freedom Coalition and former Ohio Secretary of State, who discussed our national heritage of American exceptionalism. Blackwell challenged the audience with the fact that it costs more to keep someone in jail for a year, than it costs for college tuition, room, and board. Dr. Benny Tate, a Georgia pastor, delivered a passionate message entitled "Church: It is time to speak". Tate blended his great sense of humor with a moving exhortation for Christians to stand up and be the people God has called them to be by fighting injustice and evil in their local and national communities. Dr. Mark Smith, Ohio Christian University president, then provided a historic look back at how faith played a pivotal part in the founding of America and has continued to be part of the American framework.
US Congressman Steve Austria introduced Governor Huckabee, who spoke to an enthusiastic crowd. He first talked about his humble upbringing in Hope, Arkansas. He talked about being taught the "golden rule" on his mother's knee and stated that "if everyone followed the golden rule we wouldn't need all the government and laws we now have." He said that contrary to what many politicians have told him, morality is important. With regard to the problem of illegal immigration, he told the crowd that as they knelt to pray that night to remember that it is better to live in a country where people are trying to break into rather than one where people are trying to break out of. At a poignant moment in his talk, he mentioned that as a child he got to see the governor of Arkansas. His father, "who wasn't able to get all the grease out from under his fingernails even using lava soap," said this might be the only time in his life that he would ever get to see the governor of Arkansas. However, because of the opportunities he had living in this country where dreams can become reality; he became the first in his family to graduate from high school and would go on to become Arkansas' 44th governor.
The event brought in people from all over Ohio. Dr. Gideon King, a family practitioner in Chillicothe said, "It was very inspiring to hear Christians speak to the relevance of faith in the political arena." Howard Russell, Executive Director for Christian Healthcare Ministries, had this to say, "I found the event to be invigorating and encouraging. It was an opportunity to express our love for and commitment to the things that are dearest to all Christians; our faith, our freedom and our family." Local resident Bill Richards said, "It was a proud night for Circleville and for Pickaway County. Governor Huckabee was inspiring, challenging and entertaining. His patriotic message is valuable for the future of freedom and prosperity for this nation."
Dr. Mark Smith stated, "This event was a great night for the faith community. Gov. Huckabee was an exceptional speaker. This also gives OCU national prominence as Gov. Huckabee has mentioned the University on national radio several times over the last few days. We continue to try to bring in high profile individuals for the benefit of the community."
Photo by Rick Buchanan Photography