Welcome to Family Heritage Alliance
The 2014 Awakening Men's Conference
The Awakening Black Hills Men's Conference is a one-day event held each year in Sturgis, South Dakota. This year, the Awakening is scheduled for October 11 at the Sturgis Community Center.
Attendees will be privileged to hear from Cliff Graham (Five Stones Media), the author of the "Lion of War" Series of books and Michael Alstiel (Know the Covering Ministries), Co-Author of "Cover Me".
Click here to register...
Cliff Graham is an author, speaker, and entrepreneur who develops transmedia entertainment content based on the Bible. He received his undergraduate degree at Black Hills State University and did his graduate studies at Liberty Theological Seminary.
Cliff spent thirteen years in the United States army as an enlisted soldier, company grade officer, and chaplain. He completed the United States Army Military Police School, the Reserve Officer Training Corps, and the United States Army Chaplain Officer Course.
In civilian life, Cliff has been a pastor’s son, a youth pastor, an associate pastor, and a teaching pastor at various churches over the years.
Cliff’s novel series “Lion of War,” about the battles of King David, is being produced as a major motion picture franchise.
Michael Altstiel is a man passionately devoted to the many roles God has placed in his life. He is a Counselor, Teacher, Speaker, Husband, Father, Son, Friend, and Co-Author. He is one of the founders of Know the Covering Ministries. He loves hiking, skiing, camping, cliff jumping, scuba-diving, music, reading, traveling and time with family and friends.
Michael was born and raised in South Dakota. He graduated from Colorado Christian University in 1998 with a BS in Biology and a minor in Psychology and Biblical Studies. Upon graduation, he trained and Counseled at Christian Life Ministries (CLM) from 1998-2013. In early 2013 Michael answered the full-time call as Executive Director of Know the Covering.
His heart comes fully alive studying God’s Word and journeying with fellow warriors. Michael is deeply convicted that God has designed man with an imbedded need for Kavode (glory). If this “glory” is found through fierce dependency on Jesus… they will be great leaders in their homes, community and their spheres of influence.
He is committed to working out this dependency first in his own home with his best friend and “Queen”, Leah, and their three children (1 Timothy 3:12). He desires his life to bring glory to his King alone and to be a testimony of His love, His strength and His honor in the lives of today’s man.
FHA Team Attends DC Values Voter Summit
FHA Executive Director Dale Bartscher and FHA Advisory Council Chair Bob Fischer were in attendance at this years' Values Voter Summit. The Summit was hosted by the Family Research Council (FRC Action) based in DC. A constant theme throughout the three-day event was the growing assault on religious liberty overseas and here at home. Featured speakers included Naghmeh Abedini, wife of Pastor Saeed Abedini, David and Jason Benham, Aaron and Melissa Klein, and Mariam Ibraheem (pictured here with Dale as she has been recently released from a Sudanese Prison after having been jailed due to her amazingly strong Christian faith) -- all of whom have experienced varying degrees of persecution for their faith.
For the second year in row, Senator Ted Cruz finished first in the Values Voter straw poll, winning 25% of the vote. Dr. Ben Carson finished second with 20%, followed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee with 12%. Rounding out the top five were former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum in fourth place, followed by a tie for fifth between Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
Dale found himself working the crowd, networking with passionately conservative, Christian world-viewed Leaders from across the country. Two such Leaders were Senator Rick Santorum, our FHA's West River Stand Banquet's Keynote Speaker (pictured here) and Bill Crystal, a conservative national news commentator (also pictured here).
To view and listen to the many guest speakers, including FRC President Tony Perkins, click here to watch them online.
FHA Executive Director Attends FPC National Summit
On Thursday, September 25, FHA Executive Director Dale Bartscher was once again invited to attend a National FPC Director's Summit. This event was held at the beautiful DC Headquarters of the Family Research Council (FRC). This was an all-day think tank/training session for the 38 Family Policy Council Directors gathered from across the nation. Dale was given the opportunity, as South Dakota's FPC Director, to speak of God's Favor and work with the Family Heritage Alliance here in the great state of South Dakota. The next gathering of FPC Directors, of which Dale anticipates being in attendance, will take place one-day prior to the FRC's Watchmen on the Wall Pastors' DC Briefing, May 20-22, 2015.
FHA Executive Director Attends Lincoln County's L-RDD
On Saturday, September 20, FHA Executive Director Dale Bartscher participated, along with approximately 250 others, in the 2014 Lincoln County Lincoln/Reagan Day Dinner. Betty Otten (pictured with Dale), wife of State Senator Ernie Otten, serves as the Lincoln County Republican Party Chair and chaired the organizing of this great event. The program included patriotic music, a terrific meal, speeches by SD Constitutional Office Candidates, and an inspiring keynote speech by SD's Lt. Governor Matt Michels (pictured here). The FHA ACTION was honored to have sponsored a table-of-eight College Republicans for the evening's event as mentoring our next generation's conservative, family valued young men and women is key to our mission.
The evening's program carried this thoughtful quote by former President Ronald Reagan: "I believe that part of our troubles are because back over the years, the leadership of the opposing party has step-by-step taken us away from the constitutional principle that we are a federation of sovereign States, and they have tried to reduce the States to administrative districts of an all-powerful Federal Government. And the Federal Government has tried to do things that the Federal Government is not able to do."
Religious Liberty Tour Swings Across S.D.
The South Dakota Religious Liberty Tour is now history. The Liberty Institute’s Jeremiah Dys, Esq., and our Executive Director, Dale Bartscher worked hard to deliver hard-hitting information at three venues across the state of South Dakota. The kickoff to the tour was in Rapid City on September 17. The musical group “Heart of David” provided a fantastic listening experience prior to the beginning of the kickoff event. 152 enthusiastic friends of the FHA joined us in Rapid City to listen to Dale and Jeremiah address the issues. The dynamic duo then left for Aberdeen where, on September 18, 20 folks joined them for lunch and part two of the tour. Ending the tour the evening of September 18 in Sioux Falls, Bartscher and Dys were welcomed by a crowd of 50. We want to extend our gratitude to “Heart of David”, the Liberty Institute, and especially to Mr. Dys for the gift of his time and expertise. Also, we are so grateful to the following pastors and their staff and volunteers for making this tour possible.
- Pastor Craig Moore, Pastor of Rapid City’s First Assembly of God
- Pastor Jon Droege, Pastor of Aberdeen Christian Fellowship
- Pastors Kirk Flaa and Matthew Ballmann of Abiding Savior Free Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls
Attorney General Jackley...
Attorney General Jackley Joins Bipartisan Attorneys General Group Requesting US Supreme Court to Address Same Sex Marriage Cases
PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty J. Jackley announces that South Dakota has joined with 19 States in a request to the United States Supreme Court to determine whether the U.S. Constitution requires States to adopt and recognize same-sex marriage (17 plus Utah and Oklahoma).
“I have joined the bipartisan Attorneys General request to the U.S. Supreme Court as it offers the most realistic and cost effective approach to defending both our State Constitution and statutory law. It remains the State’s position that the institution of marriage should be defined by the voters of South Dakota and not the federal courts,” said Jackley.
SOUTH DAKOTA LAW
In November 2006, South Dakota voters approved a constitutional amendment making marriage valid only between a man and a woman. South Dakota voters approved this amendment by a vote of 172,242 to 160,173. South Dakota Constitution Article XXI, Section 9 defines only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized in South Dakota. In addition, our Legislature has enacted SDCL 25-1-1 defining marriage as a personal relation between man and a woman.
TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE CHALLENGES
There are an astounding 89 cases challenging traditional marriage laws in the 31 States that define marriage as the legal union of a man and a woman.
South Dakota’s constitutional amendment defining marriage was challenged in May of 2014 in Rosenbrahn v. Daugaard, No. 14-cv-4081 (D. S.D.). Both parties have filed dispositive motions that are pending before our federal District Court in Sioux Falls and appeals are anticipated once the decision is rendered.
ATTORNEYS GENERAL REQUEST TO SUPREME COURT
The Attorneys General are requesting the U.S. Supreme Court to answer “whether the U.S. Constitution requires States to adopt and recognize same-sex marriage.” In defending their respective States, the Attorneys General advocate that “The question presented in this petition goes to the heart of the States’ traditional role in regulating marriage.” The Attorneys General are requesting the Court to answer this question through the Utah and Oklahoma cases that do not have the procedural defects created by Attorney General Eric Holder and the California state officials’ refusal to defend federal statutes and state constitutional amendments defining marriage that occurred in the previous U.S. Supreme Court decisions handed down in June of 2013.
The Attorneys General further point out that “these cases are divisive and costly, not only in terms of money and man power, but in terms of respect for the democratic process and deliberation undertaken by millions of voters where the nature of marriage has recently been debated.” The Attorneys General have explained to the Court that “In the year since this Court decided United States v. Windsor every State with traditional marriage laws has come to exist under a legal cloud that is fast becoming a storm.” Federal courts have found the laws of Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin to violate the 14th Amendment, while Louisiana and Nebraska have prevailed in federal District Court.
Kamal Saleem To Tour South Dakota
South Dakota Schedule is as Follows:
- 9-11 Youth Rally 7:00 PM September 11th at the Rapid City Christian School
- 7:00 PM September 12 at Rapid City's Ramkota Convention Center
- 7:00 PM September 13 at Best Western plus Ramkota Convention Center in Sioux Falls
- Sioux Falls Church of the Gate Morning Worship
- Evening Worship at a Western S.D. location to be announced.
The tour is sponsored by National Day of Prayer, Big Horn Canyon
Community Church, KSLT, Family Heritage Alliance, Church at the Gate,
ACT for America, and Aglow International.
Kamal was born into a Sunni Muslim family in the heart of the Middle East. As a child, he was recruited by the Muslim Brotherhood (which is very active in the US) and completed his first terrorist mission at the age of seven. As a young man, Kamal came to the United States to recruit as many Christians and Jews as possible for the glory of Allah. All of this was aimed at implementing cultural Jihad. But the true God had other plans. While here, Kamal came to the saving knowledge of Christ. His life now has a pure focus. First he wants to share the love of God in Christ with Muslims. Secondly, he is passionate about issuing a challenge to America to wake up. He calls them to an understanding of the dangers within the fundamental Terrorism, right here in our own backyard.
In his late teens, Kamal was recruited by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (The PLO) and radical Muslim groups. The many years of his terrorist training resulted in Kamal mastering every form of offensive and defensive terrorist tactics.
Kamal left his home and family in the Middle East as a young man to enter his mission field: the United States. He brought with him a tremendous passion to convert as many Christians and Jews as possible for the glory of Allah. He implemented his plan, and converted many people to Islam.
In 1985 Kamal’s world turned upside down when he was seriously injured in an automobile accident. A Christian man tended to him at the accident scene, making sure he got the medical treatment he needed. Kamal’s orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist were also Christian, men who over a period of several months ministered the unconditional love of Jesus Christ to him as he recovered. The love and sacrificial giving of these men caused Kamal to cry out to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob acknowledging his need for the Savior. He has since become a man with a new mission as an ambassador for the one true and living God, the great I Am, Jehovah God of the Bible.
He currently teaches and speaks worldwide in churches, Jewish synagogues, Muslim communities, universities and high schools. He has also appeared worldwide on radio and television programs.
Sioux Falls Area FHA Luncheon
The recently held Sioux Falls area FHA Luncheon was a summer sensational event! On Wednesday, August 28, fifty-five passionately patriotic FHA friends gathered in the beautiful sanctuary, turned dinning hall, at the Church at the Gate. Their Pastors Steve Hickey and Dennis White welcomed us royally and their team of volunteers blessed us immensely. Thank you Church at the Gate! FHA Executive Director Dale Bartscher led the program declaring the truth that, "Together we are strengthening and preserving marriage, family, life and liberty in South Dakota." We also heard an encouraging report from John Witherspoon College President Dr. Richard Wells. JWC, located in Rapid City, is beginning it's three year of ministry with a record number of students….50+.
FHA Shows Up At LifeLight
FHA Executive Director Dale Bartscher was once again joined this year in the FHA LifeLight Booth by Dr. Ron Lewis of the John Witherspoon College. Our 10 x 20 foot FHA/JWC LifeLight booth was a hub of activity for the three days of this year's LifeLight experience, August 29-31. Thousands of folks streamed by our booth and a host of friends and soon-to-be friends stopped in and spent some time walking through our materials and visiting about Faith, Family and Freedom issues.
It was especially gratifying when South Dakota Representative Manny Steele stopped in to say, "Dale, I'm giving you a break so go get a bite to eat and walk around as I watch the FHA display for a while." This was a blessing indeed. "Thank you Manny!"
Yes, the FHA and JWC plan to be back NEXT YEAR as this is an event one would not, should not miss.
LifeLight Founders, Alan and Vicki Greene wrote the following as a festival recap saying:
This is what it's all about! Honoring, loving, and glorifying God no matter the circumstance. And just where do we begin? Here is a glimpse of what we experienced as we watched in awe of all that God was doing among and through His people.
The Attendees - umbrellas and tarps overhead and hundreds if not thousands standing in the pouring rain; some in muck boots, some in ruined shoes, some with mud between their toes. They stood there in the rain and worshipped with hands raised high.
They danced in the mud to the music. They stood and waited when the sound was lost and nothing was happening on stage. They were silent and listened when the words of the Gospel were shared through the speakers. They praised Him in the sun and they praised Him in the rain…
The Vendors, Volunteers and Staff — they all worked and worked and worked in the mud, serving with smiles; caring, sharing, hauling, moving, climbing and even pulling cars and campers out of the mud…
The Artists, Speakers and Musicians — they painted, they sang, they spoke, they served, they practiced and practiced and played and prayed and worshiped and gave their all to the crowd waiting to hear from them…
We all came together for one purpose. The Audience of One — to Worship Him.
Together we praised Him in the sun and we praised Him in the rain!
Ok, enough said! To God be the Glory!
FHA Makes A State Fair Stop
Following this year's LifeLight Music Festival, August 29-31, FHA Executive Dale Bartscher made a stop at the South Dakota State Fair located in the beautiful city of Huron. The Republican building was a buzz with activity and it was great to run into Jason Glodt with the 'Rounds For U.S. Senate' team. [BTW - you have probably heard that the FHA Action has endorsed Governor Mike Rounds for the SD U.S. Senate Seat but have you recently heard that on Wednesday, September 3, the National Right To Life has also endorsed Governor Rounds for the U.S. Senate. Congratulations Governor Rounds!] It was also encouraging to visit with several other FHA friends like SD State Senate Jim White of Huron. Senator White honorably serves District 22 (Beadle, Kingsbury counties). Note: In 2015 it is the goal of the FHA to have a booth presence at both LifeLight in Sioux Falls and the SD State Fair in Huron which take place at the same time. There's no grass growing under the feet of the FHA!
Louisiana Judge Halts Gay 'Wedding' Procession - Pays Price
From our friends at Family Research Council
It used to be that people were punished for ignoring the law -- now they're shamed for upholding it! Judge Martin Feldman understands that all too well, having shown the courage to do what more than 20 courts did not: uphold the people's freedom to promote marriage as it has always been -- the union of a man and a woman. In the 24 hours since his decision to side with the democratic process, the Louisiana judge has been the target of vicious rhetoric from the gatekeepers of "tolerance," including the not-so-objective press.
Huffington Post, one of the more openly liberal outlets, posted a profanity-laced headline, using outrageous language to describe the first non-activist ruling on marriage since the Supreme Court's Windsor. It always amazes me how the champions of choice only want people to have a choice if they can determine what the choice is. Angry that Feldman would even consider the 14th Amendment, children's wellbeing, religious liberty, and judicial overreach in his making his decision, reporters lashed out at the court for siding with the democratic process.
Ironically, the Reagan appointee made it clear that he agreed with the Supreme Court in striking down the federal marriage law but insisted that state diversity and sovereignty trumped whatever manufactured "rights" the Left insists the Constitution protects.
"Admittedly, other federal courts throughout the country have spoken as if they were deciding the issue by discovering, at best, unclear case models on the more demanding standard of review. Or, in the name of rational basis, they have at times applied the more exacting review standards. This court would be more circumspect," Feldman wrote. "In light of still-binding precedent, this Court declines to fashion a new suspect class. To do so would distort precedent and demean the democratic process." Unlike his peers, he takes the federalist perspective on marriage -- and agrees that protecting the people's vote is more important than forcing a radical social agenda on the nation.
My friend and former colleague, who is now GOP House Whip, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) joined us on the "Washington Watch" radio show to applaud the judge's sound reasoning. "As you know, I was the lead author of the bill that put a constitutional amendment on the (Louisiana) ballot back in 2004 to define marriage as the union between one man and one woman. It overwhelmingly passed by the voters of Louisiana -- 78% of our voters felt strongly about putting that definition in our constitution. And today, we had another attack on it that was upheld by Judge Feldman... So this was an important win for marriage today." For more on the ruling, check out FRC's Leanna Baumer on NPR's "Morning Edition."
Upcoming Human Trafficking Events
“Not My Life”
On September 11, 6:30 pm at the School of Mines, the Dacotah Territory International Visitor Program will be hosting a screening of this HT documentary. Our Tess Franzen will be participating to share about Human Trafficking in our region. This is a free event and everyone is welcome.
One Up! Remedy Drive Concert
On September 13, 7:00 pm at Central High School, the FHA’s Human Rights Division is joining Reverb to host this Christian Indie Rock HT awareness concert. This event will also feature guest speaker Lowell Hochhalter from F.R.E.E. International and a guest HT survivor will be sharing as well. This is also a free event, and all are welcome.
Sioux Falls Human Trafficking Conference
On Wednesday, August 13, the Family Heritage Alliance hosted their first Church’s Response to Human Trafficking Conference at the Sioux Falls First Assembly of God Church. Close to 200 friends and partners of faith joined together to learn about the scourge of modern day slavery in our state. FHA Executive Director Dale Bartscher served as the evening’s program Emcee. FHA Human Rights Director Tess Franzen started things off by covering Human Trafficking 101, and sharing an update from this year’s Sturgis Rally.
Each of our guest speakers ROCKED the house! Michael Bartel, Executive Director of F.R.E.E. International, U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, Attorney General Marty Jackley, and Keynote Speaker Congresswoman Kristi Noem shared from their hearts and their experiences, and imparted practical wisdom to the audience.
These individuals are each champions in the effort to end human trafficking, and we appreciate their generosity in taking time away from their very busy schedules to speak about human trafficking in our state. Audience members learned what human trafficking looks like her, what is being done to end it, and how the church is uniquely equipped and called to stand between innocence and evil in this fight.
Not only are these individuals generous with their speaking time, they have each been actively participating with the FHA’s Human Rights Division and the West River Human Trafficking Task Force in this effort. We are honored to be partnering with them, and we’d like to thank each of them for all they do.
People of faith often ask how they can get involved in the fight against human trafficking, and there’s a definite and essential role for each of us to fill. Believers know they can pray and donate money, but they often desire more practical involvement. This event clarified the role of the church in this fight, and audience members left with the challenge to become world changers.
Thank you to everyone who helped to make this a great event!
Click here for KELO's coverage of the event.
Click here for the Argus Leader's coverage of the event.
Click here for more FHA info on human trafficking and other human rights issues.
Bridge Building at Turner County Fair
Parker, South Dakota is home to the oldest county fair in the state, and for the last two years, FHA / FHA Action has had a presence there. This year, from August 11-14, Our Executive Director, Dale Bartscher and his intern sidekick, Cape Molstad manned our booth there. With thousands walking past, our team had many tremendous opportunities to network and communicate the mission of the FHA organizations. The list of South Dakota’s elected officials who stopped by the booth to wish us well got longer as the fair progressed. Among many others, U.S. Senator John Thune and U.S. Representative Kristi Noem stopped by. Of course, not all who walked by were well-wishers, but from our point of view, those folks represent a shot at building a bridge. Bridge building is much harder and more rewarding work than blowing them up.
We also want to thank our Sioux Falls Area Representative, LaVonne Fossness, who traveled to Parker to assist at the booth.
Sioux Falls Office Open House
On Friday, July 25 and Saturday, July 26, the FHA officially celebrated the opening of our office in Sioux Falls. It has been a long road, and truthfully, an enormous step of faith, but we are open for business in the Sioux Falls. Our Executive Director, Dale Bartscher was there of course, and he had the following to say: “Right at 50 friends walked through our office door and the 'good will' expressed by all was especially gratifying. It was a special treat to see our own FHA Board Member Gayla Meyer walk through the door on Saturday. It was helpful having FHA Student Intern Cape Molstad (Baltic, SD) join us on Friday all day.” Several legislators were among those visiting, and so many commented on the attractive and spacious accommodations. It would be impossible to adequately thank LaVonne Fossness who serves as our Sioux Falls Area Representative, and without whose diligent work and networking, the open house and the office itself would still just be a dream.
FHA Campaign Takes Aim at Human Trafficking
Ahead of the Sturgis Motor Cycle Rally, the FHA is launching an awareness campaign. Beginning next week, just ahead of the rally, the Family Heritage Alliance, with the assistance of Free International and other ministries and organizations, will launch an awareness campaign against human trafficking and sex slavery. Radio and TV PSAs with Representative Kristi Noem, South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley, and U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson will hit the airwaves for the campaign. Also, you will see a billboard on Interstate 90 right outside of Sturgis, as well as several digital billboards around the area.
Update: Be watching for the video spots below on your local TV stations. Also, a second billboard is up on Mt. Rushmore Road just past Tower Road. And lastly, due in large part to the work of our Tess Franzen, SD Governor Dennis Daugaard has proclaimed August "Human Trafficking Awareness Month"! Click here to read the proclamation.
Last year, nine men were charged with sex trafficking during the Sturgis Rally. You might be interested in reading: Belle Fourche man found guilty of sex trafficking during rally.
July 30 BH Area FHA Luncheon
Wednesday, July 30 found almost 100 friends (which may be a record for this time of year) of
the FHA gathered at South Canyon Lutheran Church in Rapid City for our
Summer Black Hills Area Luncheon. The Keynote Speaker for the event was
Family Research Council’s SD field representative,
Bruce Lau. Also on the program was a report from our Tess Franzen,
Director of FHA’s Human Rights Division regarding the ongoing work
toward stemming the tide of human trafficking in our state. As always,
we want to thank Pastor Bruce Thalacker and the wonderful folks at South
Canyon Lutheran Church. Also, a huge thank you goes out to the army of
FHA volunteers that helped make this event a success!
Pastor Yorba Takes Faster Pastor West Trophy
Sunday, July 13, 13 area ministry leaders gathered to duel it out in what has become an FHA tradition. The Faster Pastor Go Cart Race West, postponed from its regular spot at the conclusion of our Celebrating Family event, was every bit the grand finale we were expecting. Pastor George Yorba of Open Range Bible Outfitters fame took the trophy. He officially took possession of the coveted trophy in front of the Hills Alive crowd on Sunday, July 20 at 2:50 pm. The other participants were: Pastor/Elder Jim Price (Black Hills Church of Christ), Pastor Troy Carr (Faith Temple Church), Pastor Karman Blake (Good Healing Voice Ministries), Pastor Jon Fiester (Bible Fellowship Church), Pastor Wayne Titus (Rapid Valley Community Church), Father Jonathan Dillon (Cathedral of OLPH), Father Nathan Sparks (Cathedral of OLPH), Pastor Karl Kroeger (Piedmont United Methodist Church), Pastor Rob Crumb (Dove Christian Center), Father Mark Horn (Cathedral of OLPH), Pastor Layne Lindberg (Freedom Life Outreach), Pastor Steve Selfridge (First Wesleyan Church). See more pictures from the event on our Facebook Page.
FHA Opens New Sioux Falls Office
As the ministry of the Family Heritage Alliance and FHA Action expands, the logical next step has always been a permanent, brick and mortar presence in Sioux Falls. As of Tuesday, July 1, that next step was achieved as we received the keys to our suite in the FCA building located at 1601 East 69th Street. Our suite is #206.
We are still in the process of getting utilities set up and ready to go, so it may be a day or two before a phone number is published. However, we are "chomping at the bits" to get operations up and fully functional in Sioux Falls.
We are excited to announce that we will be hosting an Open House Reception at our new office on Friday July 25 from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM and Saturday, July 26 from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM. Refreshments will be served. We are looking forward to seeing you there.
First Annual Sioux Falls Walk Run
Saturday, June 28 was a beautiful summer day for our first annual Sioux Falls Run Walk for Faith, Family and Freedom. This year, we partnered with the Joe Marrowbone and the Ram Center. It is the heart of the FHA to reach out to our Native American brothers and sisters in Christ and this was our first successful attempt at doing so. Our Sioux Falls Area Coordinator, LaVonne Fossness did a superb job lining up this event which raised over $1000 for the two ministries. Just so you know, Dale and LaVonne weren’t in any trouble, the two Sioux Falls motorcycle police officers just dropped by to wish us well.
FHA Action Endorses Mike Rounds
Celebrating Family West 2014
Many of the mini-golf (pardon the pun) holes were under water, but still the hearty golfers golfed on. At times they watched intently to see if their golf ball managed to find its mark under the surface of the water. Talk about a water hazard. The climbing wall seemed the best idea, since you could at least get to higher ground that way. Yes, the rain came and the temperatures were less than cooperating, but still around 250 folks from the Rapid City area came out to enjoy fellowship, food, and fun. On June 21, the weather was far from ideal, but the 2014 Celebrating Family West came off quite well considering. When the FHA does an event like this, there is always an army of volunteers who make it all possible. To those volunteers, and the wonderful folks at the Ranch Amusement park, we extend a great big ‘thank you’.
Many of those attending waited patiently for 3:00 as that was the scheduled time for the “Faster Pastor” race. However, because of the waterlogged race track, the grand finale had to be scrubbed at the last minute. But be of good cheer, we already have the Faster Pastor race rescheduled for July 13. As a result of the reschedule, a few of the contestants had to bow out, so we are looking for a few who might be interested in filling their place. If you are interested, call our office at 605.718.5433.
2014 Celebrating Family East
Well the clouds rolled in early in the morning on June 14. The rain fell, the wind blew, and they pounded the FHA’s tent, but it was founded on something substantial enough to withstand the storm and provide shelter for the FHA team preparing to spend some time celebrating family in Sioux Falls. And, when the sun finally came out, so did about 150 folks looking to share in the “Celebrating Family” experience, and wow did we make up for lost time. Sure, we were hoping for 500, but the fact that 150 braved the rain and wind and came out to spend the morning with us is a win worthy of any trophy case. We were blessed to have a great team of volunteers who efficiently worked to make the best of weather. We can’t say enough about Al Novstrup and the great folks at Thunder Road who donated tickets to the attendees, and just generally made the experience a great one.
As is our custom, the grand finale to the day, was the Faster Pastor race. We had 11 participants, and the event was a goodhearted perfect conclusion to our “Celebrating Family” in Sioux Falls. The following pastors participated, and represented their respective ministries well. Pastor Tyler Tufte took the checkered flag.
- Pastor Spencer Aalsburg – United Reformed Church
- Pastor Aaron Asmus – Memorial Lutheran Church
- Pastor Chris Ascher – Resurrection Lutheran Church
- Pastor Joe Marrowbone – First Assembly of God church
- Pastor Dave Tims – First Reformed Church
- Pastor Tyler Tufte – First Assembly of God Church
- Pastor Brian Narcomey – Center of Hope Church
- Pastor Larry Fossum – Cowboy Way Church
- Pastor Jon Sanders – The Rescue Church
- Pastor Kurt Schiferl – Volunteers of America
- Pastor Chad Weidenbacher – Faith Temple
Our special thanks to LaVonne Fossness (our Sioux Falls Area Coordinator) who, as always rallied an amazing team of volunteers, and did a great job getting everything lined out and ready for the event.
JWC's First Commencement Exercise
John Witherspoon College is the first and only institution of its kind in a five-state region that includes more than 300,000 people living in a 2000-mile radius. One biographer said that John Witherspoon transformed Princeton into an institution that equipped "the revolutionary generation." God has given this school that bears his name, the resources, the vision, and the passion for equipping a "new revolutionary generation." All to the glory of God!
On Friday, May 9, JWC celebrated both her FIRST Commencement Exercise and graduated her FIRST Graduate. That Graduate is Scott D. Wiggins pictured here second from the left standing beside FHA Executive Director and Vice-Chairman of the JWC Board of Trustees. Also pictured are JWC's President Dr. Richard Wells and her Associate Professor of Biblical Studies and Dean, Dr. Ronald J. Lewis. Mr. Wiggins graduated with an Associate of Christian Leadership and the FHA congratulates him and wishes JWC God's speed.
UPDATE : Bible Curriculum in Public Schools
By Perry Lewis
One year ago the Bible Curriculum in Public Schools was presented to Superintendent Tim Mitchell of the Rapid City School District, which is the largest district in South Dakota, and then presented to this audience.
We believed this great curriculum of history and literature was well received by Dr Mitchell and we know you received it well. It seemed to be moving in the direction for approval as an elective course in Rapid City High Schools.
A few weeks ago I met again with Dr. Mitchell. The climate of this meeting was substantially different than the first meeting in the following ways:
- Up front he told me he had been attacked by several people soon after it was announced the Bible Curriculum would be considered. Note: You may remember a very negative editorial by the Rapid City Journal followed by several negative letters to the editor. Shortly thereafter Dale Bartscher of Family Heritage Alliance had published in the same paper a very positive response.
- Dr. Mitchell told me he was overwhelmed (my word) by the Common Core planning and execution.
- He also said he works at the direction of the School Board and they gave him six directives to be his priority.
- Dr. Mitchell then told me, “There is no room for any electives that do not apply to higher education”.
- Finally he told me the Bible Curriculum concept is back to square one, and frankly it appeared to me he is not at all interested at this point in trying to move it forward.
May I suggest that Dr. Mitchell’s position, in view of Common Core [Standards], is probably not much different than Superintendents across the state, and nation for that matter.
Does Common Core and its dictates mean the end of the effort? Wars are seldom won with a single battle. Is it time for our legislature to become more proactive in school curriculum with legislation that reflects the standards we would want for our children? How many Christians are serving on school boards?