Early Fall of 2020 I had the privilege to organize some of my favorite events my life. God has blessed me with the friendship of a man named Chad Connelly. Chad Connelly was the GOP chair for South Carolina and went on to serve as the first ever Director of Faith Engagement for the RNC. He spoke to over 80,000 pastors between 2013 and 2016. After his term as DFE was ended he started his own 501(c)(3) called Faith Wins for the purpose of maximizing the Christian vote and engaging pastors in the civic arena. His team, along with Evangelist Byron Fox and Senator Bob McEwan, traveled to multiple states throughout the summer speaking to pastors and imploring them to hold voter registration drives at their churches. I had the privilege of planning three of these meetings in Michigan. On Tuesday, September 22nd, we held a terrific meeting at Pastor Cody Kuehl’s church in Grand Rapids. Pastor Cody Kuehl did a fantastic job hosting and contributed much time to making the event a success. We had about 40 people in attendance. The next two meetings were smaller, but God still used them! We met for breakfast the next day at Pastor Gene Haymakers church in Mt. Pleasant and had about seven pastors in attendance. Our Final meeting was at Pastor Tim Berlin’s church in Warren where we had about 15 people in attendance. Both Pastor Tim Berlin and Pastor Haymaker worked very hard to promote these events and make them a success. Every pastor in attendance of these three meetings was incredibly blessed and challenged by Senator Bob McEwan’s speeches. God has blessed him with an incredible ability to communicate and to weave history and Biblical principles together into a revelation of wisdom for the appropriate course of action for our modern day. Nearly every pastor who attended left excited to hold voter registration at their church or do anything else they could to help maximize the Christian vote.
~ Pastor Dom
2019 was a banner year for our Capitol Connection event. God blessed us with distinguished speakers, increased pastoral involvement, and a fantastic venue. This year we hosted the event at the Radisson and did a banquet session for the first time. Pastor Steve Smail of Lighthouse Baptist Church in Plainwell opened up the event on April 29th with a heart-aligning message touching on the Great Commission in reference to our government. We also had so many Christian legislators come to address the pastors in the afternoon of the 30th that we barely had time for a break before the banquet that evening. Many pastors were touched by the legislator’s pleas for prayer and encouragement as well as encouraged at the high number of Christian lawmakers in Lansing. Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey were our guest speakers at the banquet, which brought in seventy-five attendees. It was inspiring and challenging to see how their faith guided their decisions as state leaders.
2018 was a challenging year for our Capitol Connection event. Due to the fact that the majority of legislators were campaigning for the 2018 election, session was canceled for the week of our event. This meant there would be no legislators present in Lansing. Although this was the case, we decided to go through with the event because we knew that reaching legislator’s staff was just as important as reaching legislators. Not only are their souls just as precious to Jesus, but many aides are very influential with their legislators or end up becoming legislators themselves. 2018 turned into our year to pour into staff, so that’s what we did. Instead of inviting legislators to the group sessions to speak to the pastors, we invited their staff. It was great to hear about their jobs, their prayer requests, and the legislature from their perspective. This year, Pastor Tim Berlin from Faith Baptist Church in Warren and Pastor Rusty Chatfield from Northern Michigan Baptist Bible Church in Burt Lake were our special speakers. It was powerful to hear from these two pastors who had been so faithfully involved in influencing their legislators in Lansing.
Here at Cornerstone Baptist Church, we are praising God for an awesome Public Servant’s Day Service!! This past Sunday we held a special service to honor our Michigan legislators. We invited the legislators from our surrounding districts as well as those we had formed good relationships with. In total, we had four legislators and two legislative aides (representing their respective legislators) attend. During the service, we took time to honor them and thank them for their service. Through the preaching, each one heard a clear gospel presentation as well as encouragement to live by wisdom, integrity, and sacrifice.
Following the service, we held a reception and brunch time to provide those in our church with the opportunity to meet their legislators. We also gave each legislator a few minutes to share with us a little bit about themselves and their jobs. Many of them used this time to express how much the 121 Capitol Connection Ministry means to them. Each also one expressed their extreme thanks for hosting the Public Servant Day service as well as for the prayers in their offices with Pastor Dom and those who visit in Lansing with him. We are excited to see how God is going to continue to work through the aftermath of this event.
Attention all churches! We have a special project in mind for the month of April. Here is what we are doing to give you and your church a simple, tangible, and impactful way to be a light for Christ to your state legislators. We are sending packets of these pre-stamped 121 capitol Connection post-cards to churches who want to participate. These are designed for you and your church members to express to your legislators your appreciation for their service and to inform them of your prayers. We have spoken with many legislators who have told us it is extremely rare to get encouragement of any type, so you can know these will go a long way. To be involved in this project, simply follow the instructions given in our video about this project on facebook.
Michigan Capitol Connection 2017
September 18-20, 2017, we hosted our first Michigan Capitol Connection! This was a fantastic first big event in our 121 Capitol Connection ministry and we are already pumped about next year! We had thirteen pastors with seventy fellow believers from different parts of the state come to Lansing to meet with their legislators. Monday night Dr. Chuck Harding (founder of Awake America) opened the convention with a motivational patriotic message. Tuesday during the day, the attendees were divided up into groups and sent into every legislative office in Lansing. It was a great day for prayer, encouragement, and the developing of relationships between pastors and their legislators. Tuesday afternoon we were able to hear from different Christian legislators about the need for this type of ministry in the Capitol. Tuesday evening, we heard a powerful message from Pastor Brad Cranston. Wednesday was the final day of the event. Early in the morning we joined the Capitol Bible study and specifically prayed for the legislators in that group. The rest of the day was spent touring the Capitol and delivering Chik-fil-A cookies to every legislative office as a way of thanking them for the time they took talking with us the day before. We are doing this event again next year, September 17th-19th, so please make plans to come!