Five years ago, the Lord led Family Policy Alliance’s sister Foundation to launch a training program for godly men and women called to serve in the mission field of public office. We all know the stories with unhappy endings—men and women who take on the title of Senator or Representative but later forget why they began serving in the first place, forsake their families, and stray from their values. But what if the issues we care about—life, family, and religious freedom—could be shaped by trained leaders who are humble, biblically grounded, and willing to boldly champion policy that reflects their values? Out of this vision—and your ongoing, faithful support—the Statesmen Academy was born. The Academy is now an integral part of Family Policy Foundation’s mission, and four classes of trained statesmen and stateswomen are serving you and your families in 33 states across the country—many of them earning national recognition for championing your values.
I wanted to be sure you saw this short video from some of the state legislators who attended Called Together, a Statesmen Academy alumni reunion, this summer. It was the first event of its kind hosted by Family Policy Foundation – but it won’t be the last! As you’ll hear in the video, statesmen and women gleaned much-needed inspiration, encouragement, knowledge and strategy to continue fighting for families and biblical values. These elected officials are on the front lines in the policy battles we all care about, and because of your support, they are re-energized and equipped to stand for truth and lead well in 2022 and beyond.
Thank you for your generosity that makes Statesmen Academy training and events possible!
Director, Statesmen Academy
Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to join Christian leaders from across the country in Washington, D.C. at the Statesman Academy™, a project of Family Policy Foundation. We heard from US House of Representatives Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), US Senator James Lankford (R-OK), Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN), as well as 14 other members of Congress as they shared their hearts and experiences with men and women who serve in elective office.
Often stated at this gathering is our definition of a statesman, “A statesman stands for what is right, regardless of the personal consequences.” Family Policy Foundation of New Jersey has had the privilege of sending future leaders from our state to the Statesmen Academy in prior years. They learned to stand for a bedrock set of principles that will not be compromised for personal or political gain. Robert Arace, Statesman Academy alumni, is currently running for mayor in Manchester, NJ.
That same week in D.C., nearly forty independent policy councils came together simultaneously for our own conference. We had in-depth panels and group discussions regarding policy initiatives and different strategies in blue and red states, how to build meaningful Christ-centered relationships with elected officials, and how to engage young conservatives on the importance of the family unit.
I left greatly encouraged and hopeful for what God is going to do in New Jersey. We are not alone in restraining the absurd and dangerous policies that are being debated in state capitals throughout this nation. This national alliance of organizations is stronger than ever before. Together, we are building an America where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished.
Would you consider a gift to Family Policy Foundation of New Jersey to assist us as we equip likeminded believers to engage their culture?
Protecting your family,
In 1861, after a long career as a soldier, General, President of Texas, and Senator from Texas, Sam Houston faced a choice that could bolster his popularity with constituents or end his political career. Houston had fiercely opposed any attempt to divide the nation which he knew would plunge the Union into a Civil War. On February 1, 1861, a special convention had been called in Texas to vote on whether the state would secede from the Union or remain. Houston was willing to return to an independent Republic but refused to swear an oath of loyalty to the newly declared Confederacy. So, on March 15, 1861, the legislature of the State of Texas declared the Governorship to be vacant and Houston was removed from office. Houston, having stood by his principles, regardless of the personal consequences, left office never to return and died within two years.
A decade before this happened, a minister wrote a statement that resonated across the country, “A politician thinks of the next election, a statesman of the next generation. A politician looks for the success of his party; a statesman for that of the country. The statesman wishes to steer, while the politician is satisfied to drift.” -James Freeman Clarke (I do not ascribe to his theology).
Last week, Christian leaders from across the country came together in Washington, D.C. at the Statesman Academy™, a project of Family Policy Foundation. We heard from US House of Representatives Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), US Senator James Lankford (R-OK), Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN), as well as 14 other members of Congress as they shared their hearts and experiences with men and women who serve in elective office.
Often stated at this gathering is our definition of a statesman, “A statesman stands for what is right, regardless of the personal consequences.” Starting next year, Family Policy Foundation of Wyoming will have the privilege of sending future leaders from our state to the Statesmen Academy where they will learn to stand for a bedrock set of principles that will not be compromised for personal or political gain.
In October, Family Policy Foundation of Wyoming will also be teaming up with Alliance Defending Freedom with training for Christian men and women who have been elected to public office.
Would you consider a gift to Family Policy Foundation of Wyoming to assist us as we equip Christian Statesmen for Wyoming?
Your gift – of $25, $50, $100, $250 or $500 or more – will help cover the expenses associated with training these elected officials so they don’t have any barriers to attending. You’ll provide the training venue, hotel rooms and all the meals during the training.
To each of you who participated in the $247,000 Challenge Grant to expand the Statesmen Academy, please accept our heartfelt thanks! The Statesmen Academy trains and equips men and women in Christ-centered public service, and you’ve helped advance that mission.
Your faithful giving has enabled Family Policy Foundation to grow the Statesmen Academy in significant ways this year and allowed us to make plans for even more impact in the years to come. Already, one prime example is in the launch of our new Statesmen Academy webpage this week!
The new webpage provides prospective statesmen and stateswomen, supporters and friends of FPF with much more information about what the Academy is, how it functions, and the effect it has on graduates and public policy across the nation. The page includes our new Statesmen Academy promotional video, detailed information about our recruitment and application processes, specific examples of alumni impact, and multiple ways to contribute financially and prayerfully to the Academy.
Your participation in our Challenge Grant has also allowed us to increase the number of alumni attending our first Statesmen Academy alumni reunion. We are just days away (19, to be exact) from Called Together – a reunion event that will enable us to re-engage with more than one-third of Statesmen Academy graduates and provide them advanced training, spiritual inspiration and political wisdom for the future. And due to increasing demand and your faithful giving, we are planning for next year’s training to be the largest Statesmen Academy ever. (More information on that event is coming soon!)
In short, we are believing God for great things in the coming year. As we develop goals and pursue greater impact, we do so in humble dependence on the Lord’s blessing and the continued support of friends like you.
We could not do what we do – training and equipping statesmen for effective, Christ-centered public service – without your financial and prayerful partnership. Thank you for standing with us!
Director, Statesmen Academy
P.S. Stay tuned for a full report on Called Together: A Statesmen Academy D.C. Reunion and the exciting plans God is directing us to for the future of the Statesmen Academy.
Since 2016, Family Policy Foundation’s Statesmen Academy has trained Christian men and women in elected office with the foundational principles, policy expertise, and political and communications strategies for effective, Christ-centered public service. Upon graduation, these men and women become part of a vibrant alumni community through which they receive ongoing training, fellowship and assistance to defend and advance pro-family policies in their states.
This November, 55 Statesmen Academy alumni were on the ballot across the country (the Statesmen Academy now has graduates from 33 states!). Family Policy Alliance invested financially in 10 of those tight races through TV, digital ads, and direct mail. FPA used sophisticated data and technology to micro-target voters who share our values with messages on life, family, and religious freedom to encourage voter turn-out and support for Statesmen alumni candidates.
Of the 55 alumni on the ballot last week, 52 won their elections – that’s a 95% win rate! This includes 48 statesmen who were re-elected to their state house or senate seats, one who was re-elected to U.S. Congress, and three who were elected to a higher state office:
- New Mexico State Rep. David Gallegos will advance to office in the New Mexico State Senate.
- Kansas State Rep. Renee Erickson was elected to the Kansas State Senate.
- Maine Rep. Trey Stewart was successful in a highly competitive race for the Maine State Senate.
It is heartening to know that more than 70 Family Policy Foundation-trained statesmen now hold elected office in 33 states across our nation. These men and women are standing strong for biblical values and advancing pro-family policy in local government, in statehouses and in the U.S. Congress. We give thanks to God for what He has done and continues to do to build up a remnant of Christian public servants and give Family Policy Foundation and Family Policy Alliance a role in this important work. Thank YOU for partnering with us and supporting us through your prayers and financial resources to make this work possible!
Director, Statesmen Academy
Today, I am writing to you from Atlanta, Georgia—host city for the Family Policy Foundation® 2019 Statesmen Academy℠!
The Statesmen Academy has become our nation’s premier training ground for on-the-rise Christian legislators and aspiring policymakers. This year, we are proud to have over 30 men and women from 15 states, including New Mexico. Throughout the course of the Academy, these Christian leaders will receive rigorous training from world renowned thought leaders and experienced Christian legislative leaders, including former U.S. Senator Tom Coburn and Dr. Wayne Grudem. Our distinguished faculty will provide instruction on the legislative art of patience and persistence, unwavering principles, and passionate, respectful advocacy.
Participating in the Statesmen Academy is a great privilege for our state and I want to personally thank the many of you who contributed to make this possible. This week, I will be posting photos and updates on Facebook and Twitter, so if you have not yet “Liked” or “Followed” us, please do so today!
God bless you and thank you again for your continued prayers and thoughtful support.
President and Executive Director
I may get in trouble for saying this, but… as Christians, we place far too much emphasis on Party identification.
The reason for this is clear and understandable. One Party has a platform that values life, God’s design of the family, a respect for faith, and the First Amendment. The other does not.
But, Party certainly has its limitations. There is nothing inherently virtuous about “red” or “blue.” Instead, it’s a God- honoring agenda – which is largely adopted by one Party and not the other – that is worth supporting. Should the other Party, or its members, support what we stand for, we will happily welcome them to the cause. Conversely, we will not blindly follow or support a candidate or elected official simply because of a letter by their name.
We’ve seen this here in Georgia. For years, our state has been led by Republicans. But, we angered many in the “establishment” when we supported Brian Kemp for the gubernatorial nomination. We did so because he genuinely cared more about acting on the right issues, advancing our values, and putting all Georgians first ahead of the other competing interests – interests that often deter elected officials from taking decisive action. As I recently wrote in the AJC, it’s not that Brian Kemp is “more Republican.” It’s that he’s is a different sort – a better sort – of elected official than we’ve seen.
The same is true for Rep. Ed Setzler, the Heartbeat Bill’s sponsor. There were many in the Party that did not want him to bring that bill forward. But, he had more than a decade of statesmanship, trust built up with colleagues, leadership skills, and a steadfast commitment to seeing a fulfilled vision of a Georgia that cherishes life.
THIS is why – the commitment of leaders like Kemp and Setzler – we were able to get this bill (which is now rallying other states to the movement) signed into law. After a decade and a half of Republican control, more was gained in mere months of the Kemp Administration because of his courage and fortitude.
But this raises a question: How do we make certain that there are more leaders like Kemp or Setzler waiting in the wings? What can be done to add to their ranks so that, in the big battles that loom in the coming years or decades, we have others of their character and ability standing alongside those leading the charge?
Such an idea underscores the need for Family Policy Foundation’s Statesmen Academy? – aimed at equipping talented and committed leaders with the tools and relationships needed to transform their states. (Last year’s Statesmen Academy class is pictured above.)
As you know, generous supporters have offered a $140,000 matching grant to ensure the success of this year’s Statesmen Academy. To that end, I wanted to personally request your support.
We have six phenomenal attendees from our state joining other outstanding leaders from around the country – more than any other state. I am certain that they will be greatly blessed by this experience, but we need your help to cover the cost. Will you consider generously partnering with us by making an online donation today?
Our aim is to raise $15,000 toward that match from here in Georgia between now and June 30. Can I count on you to partner with us? Any amount is greatly appreciated and will be helpful in ensuring strong, biblical leadership for our state for years to come.
President and Executive Director
PS. For the kind of Georgia we want, we cannot simply hope to elect members of one Party. We need Statesmen! We need God-honoring, courageous, talented, and strategic leaders who are equipped to accomplish a BIG vision. Your generous support today will be matched dollar for dollar to continue funding this incredible program.
In one of the lesser known of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia books, The Horse and His Boy, the Calormens use the phrase “may he live forever” after every mention of their ruler, the Tisroc. While this is a mockable sentiment in the story, it’s a phrase that has sincere meaning here in our state.
Because of the incredible work in the last election cycle and God’s grace, it’s hard not to wish “may he live forever,” or the more applicable “may he serve forever,” upon our leaders. If statesmen like Brian Kemp, Geoff Duncan, Ed Setzler and the like were in office “forever” – a proposition each would resoundingly reject – we would know that our state’s future would be secure.
But, sadly, they won’t “serve forever.” In the case of Gov. Kemp, he only has seven and a half years left (yep, I just said that) due to term limits. State Senator Renee Unterman, the Heartbeat Bill’s sponsor in that body has embarked on a congressional campaign. Others will eventually decide that the Lord is calling them to other opportunities.
So, what do we do?
This is where the Family Policy Foundation® Statesmen Academy℠ is such a pivotal program. None of our leaders will always be around, and we cannot simply cross our fingers and hope that the next wave will be as strong as what we are seeing. That’s why we have a program uniquely designed to equip those we want to encourage toward leadership with the tools they need to achieve it and to thrive once they attain it.
Because of the unique and powerful nature of this program, generous supporters have stepped forward to INCREASE our matching grant to $172,500 – so that your strong support will be DOUBLED. Can you help us reach this match by making a generous gift today?
Your generous support accomplishes a number of crucial things:
- Encouraging and affirming legislators who are sacrificing greatly for His Kingdom. This week functions as a spiritual retreat for those leading – and taking heat – for standing for our values.
- Connecting these leaders with our ministry, with fellow colleagues in their state, and with likeminded believers from other states – to form a unified network of legislators working together around the country to advance the cause.
- Equipping godly men and women to better serve and advance the mission in their current roles and to rise in the leadership ranks.
- Empowering attendees with the wisdom, tools, and skills needed to one day seek higher office should the Lord call them to do so.
“May he live forever,” will never be a reality. But, our work to provide perpetually strong leadership, with an eye toward the next generation, is a cornerstone of our strategy. Will you partner with us?
President and Executive Director
PS. Every $1 you give today becomes $2 thanks to a generous matching gift – $100 becoming $200, $500 becoming $1,000 and $2,500 becoming $5,000. This doubled investment will yield results for YEARS to come! Please consider partnering with us today.
We need more statesmen in Georgia.
In 2014, after years of engaging in the public square, the Lord called me to run for the State Senate. I knew that Georgia needed more statesmen in office, and I was committed to leading in a way that honored our Savior. That’s why I’ve never backed down from a fight and why I’ve sponsored the Religious Freedom Restoration Act for the last 3 years.
It’s also why I’m so grateful for the Family Policy Foundation’s® Statesmen Academy℠.
My wife and I were blessed to attend the week-long conference last year along with some other great Georgians, and we were blown away by the spirituality, the quality of the training, and the relationships we were able to build. Having served in office for just a few years, the week affirmed so much of what God was doing in and through me as well as gave me new tools to go forth, stand firm, and take action for His glory.
This legislative session, I’ve thought about the training I received many times, and it’s been an honor to partner with Cole Muzio and the team at Family Policy Foundation. I’ve also recommended the Academy to a number of my colleagues, and I’m so excited to see several great Georgians coming this year.
When I first arrived in the legislature, I knew we needed more statesmen in Georgia. Now, at the end of this year’s Academy, 14 great leaders in our state will have gone through this one-of-a-kind experience. Family Policy Foundation is building an entire coalition of leaders committed to the shared goal of a Georgia where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished!
At Statesmen Academy, legislators gain outstanding strategies on how to make this vision a reality, and the relationship with this team and your fellow statesmen only grows after the week.
Please partner with Family Policy Foundation today to make sure more Christian leaders can take part in this transformative experience. We need more statesmen!
In His Service,
Sen. Marty Harbin
Georgia State Senate
PS. I’m proud to be an alum at Family Policy Foundation’s Statesmen Academy, and my hope is to see our ranks grow here in Georgia. Consider generously giving today to fund this program. Your donation will be matched dollar for dollar to maximize impact and expand the number of alumni here in Georgia!
Well, that didn’t’ last long. Incredible, nationwide pro-life momentum has prompted Planned Parenthood to oust its president, Leana Wen, after just 8 months on the job.
But, the reasons for Wen’s departure should be a warning to our movement. According to Wen, she wanted to “run a national health care organization” while the Planned Parenthood board wanted to “double down” on pro-abortion politics. While Wen’s assertion that anyone could confuse what Planned Parenthood does as health care is laughable, we must take seriously the commitment of that evil organization to bring more resources and intensity to its political engagement.
We can expect Georgia to be at the forefront of Planned Parenthood’s efforts to “double down.” To help us fight back, please consider a generous gift today.
Notes on my travels: Since the close of the legislative session, I’ve traveled all over the state to places like Dalton, Savannah, and Valdosta to share about our ministry and spread the message about the momentum for families under Governor Kemp. I’ve spoken to political groups, and I’ve preached in churches. If there are people you want me to meet or groups you want me to speak to, feel free to reply to this email so we can get something on the schedule.
Prayers for next week: We have been updating you on the Family Policy Foundation® 2019 Statesmen Academy℠, and many of you have responded generously to help fund this pivotal program. Well, this training will be held next week in Atlanta for leaders from around the country – including our allies in Georgia. Please be in prayer for his program, for it to impact the attendees, for learning to occur, for relationships to be formed, and for its long-term success transforming our state and our nation.
In His Service,
President and Executive Director