A Report on Christian Coalition of Florida’s 1997 statewide leadership meeting
By Gerald Lostutter, Jr., North Brevard Chairman
ORLANDO – About 100 officers and members of Christian Coalition chapters statewide – seven from Brevard – met February 15th to discuss how God could use us to restore Biblical influences in society.
“Revival is the sovereign work of God in answer to sincere, prevailing prayer,” said keynote speaker Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ. Ironically during lunch, Bright noted the benefits of fasting outlined in his book, The Coming Revival, which was given freely to most attendees. “[In response to our Christian humility], God fills the Church and community with His presence and power.”
The day-long seminar began with prayer for Revival so that Christians would unite their churches, schools, work places, and neighborhoods. “We need to reweave the web of society,” said Jeb Bush, who offered solutions including more “premarital counseling by churches and synogogues” to reduce “Florida’s 60 percent divorce rate.”
In agreement was State Senate President Toni Jennings, who earlier said that churches also could establish mentoring programs to help reduce the number of welfare recipients. Concerning education, Jennings said teachers should be able to post our Founding Fathers writings that acknowledge God.
Religious influences are also needed by lawmakers in Tallahassee, observed Daniel Webster, who, as the new Speaker of the State House, was forced to review the legislature’s budget. Webster found serious financial abuses including $1.6 million for a rented, but unusable, computer program to “help” prepare correspondence for constituents. Webster gave an ultimatum: either the software manufacturer make the program work or forfeit the $250,000 balance due. The software manufacturer promptly sent programmers to correct the problems.
Florida’s other social problems, such as the link between pornography and nudity, was addressed by David Caton, director of Florida’s American Family Association. “I was shocked to realize the nudists have about 45 lobbyists in Tallahassee.” Caton observed the need for more pro-family representation at the State Capitol.
John Dowless, director of Florida’s Christian Coalition, agreed and encouraged our membership to contact our legislators, particularly during Christian Coalition’s Day at the Capitol, March 20th. Dowless noted Christian Coalition’s increasing influence: While aboard an incoming aircraft for an unrelated event, Dan Quayle learned of Christian Coalition’s seminar and telephoned his interest to drop by and speak. However, our seminar adjourned before Quayle’s plane arrived in Orlando.