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Celebrating Family Events East and West

Most folks who know Family Heritage Alliance are aware of our annual Celebrating Family events. We hold one in Sioux Falls, and one in Rapid City. It is one of the few yearly FHA events in which the focus is just to make family memories, eat good food, and hang out with awesome people. In Sioux Falls, our host was Thunder Road and in Rapid City, it was The Ranch Amusement Park. We are so grateful to these two fine businesses for their support of FHA and their partnership with us on this project. They donate hundreds of ride tickets which are given free to the attendees of the event.

On June 13, 185 folks attended the record setting Sioux Falls event. We had an army of volunteers helping us with the details, eleven all together. Our Sioux Falls Representative, LaVonne Fossness was such an important part of pulling all this together. Thanks LaVonne! Special thanks goes to the corporate sponsors of Celebrating Family East. They are: Walmart in Sioux Falls, Eddie Ehlers - Remax Broker Associate Realtor, Pro Force Services, K J ‘s Electric, Norberg Paints, Dr. Larry and Lois Lounsbery, Michael Monson – Best Choice Independent Insurance Services, Oscar DeVries – Insurance Connection, and a handful who asked not to be identified. The Grand Finale of each Celebrating Family Event is our infamous Faster Pastor Go-Kart race. We had eight racers this year with Pastor Tyler Tufte of the Sioux Falls First AG Church taking home the trophy.

Father’s Day, June 21 saw attendance for the Rapid City event go well beyond 600. As in Sioux Falls, we had an army of volunteers helping us on everything from moving, to cooking, the checking folks in, 14 in all. Our executive assistant, Amy Willson was so valuable in keeping all the plates spinning on the Rapid City project. Thanks Amy! Special thanks to our Celebrating Family West corporate sponsors: Qdoba, Coca-Cola, KSLT / KLMP Christian Radio, Family Thrift Center, Wendy’s Restaurant, Walmart, and Arctic Glacier Premium Ice. We had 15 ministry leaders racing in the Rapid City version of the Faster Pastor race. Congratulations to Pastor Bob Hower of the Piedmont Foothills Baptist Church for taking home the trophy.


Soldier's Wind

If you have ever been on a sailboat, you have likely noticed that sailing is just hard work.  It takes a passionate sailor with some serious skill to navigate and steer a craft as the wind propels the boat along.  The stormier the conditions, the more advanced nautical skills are required to get craft and crew safely to harbor.  In the days of the tall ships, sailors would on occasion use the term “a soldier’s wind”.  That term referred to conditions so favorable for sailing that the captain could literally turn the wheel over to a soldier who had little to no nautical skill.

I think for many in this country, the last decade of the 20th century saw mostly a soldier’s wind.  The economy was not horrible, the country held a solid position of strength and leadership among the world nations, and morality seemed battered but on an even keel.

We aren’t experiencing a soldier’s wind any longer.  The gale force threats of insurmountable national debt, a tattered foreign policy, and a government tearing constantly at our first and second amendment rights, has many proposing our vessel is lost.

Well, first off, all is not lost.  Not yet!  However, we really do need all hands on deck.  The Family Heritage Alliance has proven time and time again that we have the skills and passion to navigate the storm and promote and defend the values you cherish here in South Dakota and in Washington D.C. as well.

If you will pardon my stretching the sailing analogy just a little further, we have come to call the months of June through August, the Summer Doldrums.  In a very real sense, the winds of financial support that propel our ship die down significantly as people are distracted by vacations and camping, trips to see family and outdoor activities.  Truthfully, few are paying much attention to current events.  As our working capital tends to wane, the work demanded of us remains constant.  As I write, the United States Supreme Court’s decision on Friday radically transformed what it looks like to be a Christian in the United States.  Gender is being redefined even here right now in South Dakota by the South Dakota High School Activities Association.  The list goes on.  So does the mission of Family Heritage Alliance.

We have two requests for you.  And yes, the first one has to do with money.

  • What we are doing day in and day out is expensive, and if you could donate toward this effort, it would help us defray these expenses.
  • Secondly, please make a commitment to pray for our efforts through the summer “doldrums”.
For those donating, $30.00 or more, we have a token of our appreciation to send you.  It is a book by Todd Starnes called: “Dispatches from Bitter America: A Gun Toting, Chicken Eating Son of a Baptist's Culture War Stories.”  

We are so sincerely appreciative of your involvement in protecting and promoting Faith, Family, and Freedom!


Dale Bartscher
Executive Director
Family Heritage Alliance / FHA Action


Advisory Council West Bringing the Movie "Agenda" to R.C.

AGENDA: Grinding America Down (Trailer) from Copybook Heading Productions LLC on Vimeo.

Join us June 15 @ 7:00 pm at the Elks Theater for an incredibly important look at the threats drawn up against the American way of life as our Founding Fathers envisioned it.


Answering Islam Conference

Approximately 300 people were in attendance for the “Answering Islam” conference held at the Ramkota on July 5th and 6th. Keynote speakers were:

  • Shahram Hadian, former Muslim now a Christian pastor who runs the Truth in Love Project and is dedicated to speaking on a variety of critical issues facing our nation.
  • Tom Wallace who runs “Fortress of Faith” radio program on AFR and was a missionary to the UK who saw the growth of Islam and the death of Christianity in that nation.
Both speakers spoke openly about issues facing our nation including ISIS, Shariah Law and the assault of our religious liberties just to name a few. Many people left the conference with a new understanding of what our nation is facing along with practical solutions on how to love and engage Muslims for Christ.

The sponsors of this event were Big Horn Canyon Community Church, KSLT Radio, KLMP Radio, Black Hills Area National Day of Prayer, Family Heritage Alliance, Act For America, and Aglow International.

Amy Willson, our Executive Assistant and local coordinator for Act for America, was so instrumental in pulling this conference together.  Thanks Amy!


Boykin to Address Monumental Hour of Prayer


Call To Call

On Sunday June 28th, an estimated 2 million believers will observe the 7th annual Call2Fall. This time of united prayer is based upon 2 Chronicles 7:14 and other important calls to pray from America's history. Believers in thousands of churches in all 50 states will spend at least 5 minutes on our knees in prayer for our nation during their weekend worship services.

The website has many FREE tools and resources for pastors and church leaders, including Sermon Starters, Bulletin Insert, PowerPoint Announcement Slides, Videos, and much more.

Call2Fall is just 4 Sundays away. Please help us get the word out to your own church and to fellow pastors during the short time before Sunday, June 28. Download the short video clips and share them with your church. Pass them on to pastors and prayer leaders you know have a heart to see America turn to God in prayer. Share the links with your Facebook friends and point them to Call2Fall's Website and Facebook page.

Watch Tony Perkins' short video about the First Prayer in the Continental Congress. At another desperate time in our nation's history, pastor-led prayer moved many of our Founding Fathers to their knees and even tears. Eventually, they declared their independence from Great Britain, but at the same time, declared their dependence on the Providence of God. Like these great men, my prayer is that we will do the same.

I encourage you to set aside time in your worship services Sunday, June 28th. Lead your congregation in prayer and ask all who are able to get on their knees to cry out to God for our nation. It is only appropriate for us to do this on the Sunday before we break out picnic gear, fire up the grill, and light fireworks to celebrate our nation's birthday on the Fourth of July.

Visit Call2Fall.com to sign up your church or to update your church information. By joining us, believers in your community who are looking for a participating church can find you. As we unite our hearts, fall on our knees and cry out to God, pray that He will hear our prayers, forgive our sin, and heal our land.

Standing for Faith, Family and Freedom,
Dr. Kenyn M. Cureton
Vice President for Church Ministries
Family Research Council


Worthwhile: Go!

You never know who might swing by the FHA Offices from time to time and thus bless our staff during the week. So it was that we were blessed with a visit from Jonathan Moore, Sylvester Williams, Jay Atlas and Gabreal Micheal Fenerty with Worthwhile: GO! These men have reached the 10K mile mark on their bicycle ride to raise awareness on Human Trafficking and raise support for a Human Trafficking Victim’s Safe House. There is a possibility some of them may return and join us for our Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Outreach!! God bless these young men who carry the passion of Christ with them as they GO!


Watchmen On The Wall Report

Executive Director Dale Bartscher, Pastor / Representative / FHA Board member Scott Craig, and Pastor Larry Paulsen and his wife Melodie made up the South Dakota delegation to Watchmen on the Wall 2015. This event (May 20-22), held at the D.C. Hyatt Regency is hosted each year by our partners at Family Research Council. The goal of the event is to rally pastors and ministry leaders to stand in the public square for Biblical values and encourage their flock to do the same. Nearly 700 pastors attended this year’s event, and it was particularly gratifying for the Family Heritage Alliance because two of our leadership were invited to take part in the program. Dale was invited to lead a breakout session entitled “Ministering to Public Servants.” Scott was invited to speak from the main stage. You can click here to get watch the various presentations from Watchmen on the Wall 2015.

Scott and Dale spent time with Senator Thune, Senator Rounds and Representative Noem at which time a FOUNDERS’ BIBLE was personally presented to each of them. This took place during the ‘Capitol South Dakota Coffee Hour’ which occurs on Wednesday mornings at the US Capitol. Dale took time to travel to the Washington, DC, office of Concerned Women for America (CWA). While there he spent some quality time with one of America’s most respected women in leadership - Penny Nance. Penny is the President of the CWA and will be the Keynote Speaker for this fall’s Western SD Stand Banquet on Tuesday, October 13 in Rapid City.

In addition to the encouragement, fellowship, and speaking opportunity, this year’s Watchmen on the Wall provided Dale the occasion to once again renew his friendships with such national leaders as Tony Perkins, President of FRC; General Jerry Boykin, Vice-President of FRC; and Rafael Cruz, father of Senator Ted Cruz.


2015 Shepherds' Symposium Tour Spotlights Fatherlessness

This year’s three city Shepherds’ Symposium Tour centered around the topic: Defending The Cause of the Fatherless. Our keynote speaker was Mike McNeill of the Fathers In The Field ministry headquartered in Colorado. Mike profoundly stated the problem and challenged all in attendance with a workable solution. Fathers In The Field was founded on the Bible verse Isaiah 1:17 "Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; Plead the case of the widow.” Their mission is to rekindle and establish the spirit of boys who have been abandoned by their fathers; mentoring them one-on-one in life-skills through outdoor activities, and by sharing a Christian understanding of our Heavenly Father’s love and sacrifice for His Children.

Why This Theme, why now? Well, with 50% of this country’s children growing up in homes without their fathers. We are losing an entire generation of boys. We face a major social issues that creates a deep, anger-filled soul-wound that an abandoned child suffers from and carries with them. This must be healed.

  • 72% of adolescent murders are committed by fatherless children
  • Fatherless boys are 11 time more likely to exhibit violent behavior
  • 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes – 20 times the average
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes – 32 times the average

The three cities selected this year by the FHA were Hot Springs (April 28), Spearfish (April 29) and Rapid City (April 30). We were thankful for our three host churches and their Pastors: Pastor Mark Crossman, Hot Springs Southern Hills Evangelical Free Church; Pastor Mark Fuhr, Spearfish Countryside Community Church; and Pastor Nathan Ennis, Rapid City Black Hills Fellowship Church.

Other blessings surrounded this year’s Shepherds’ Symposium in the form of the gracious financial backing by Thrivent Financial. Our keynote speaker was also hosted in his lodging by Pastor Mike and Colleen Brandt of the Shepherding The Shepherds Ministry.

The FHA Board and Staff spent some quality time meeting and dining with Mike McNeill one evening during the symposium tour. We listened to him speak, and prayed for him and this ministry of such vital importance. Now we look forward to planning and hosting our NEXT great event in our great state of South Dakota! There is NO GRASS growing under the feet of the FHA and FHA ACTION!


FHA Executive Director Attends Mitchell LDD

Approximately 100 patriots gathered at the Ramada Inn in Mitchell for this year’s Davison County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner (LDD). FHA’s Executive Director Dale Bartscher was once again invited and blessed each participant with a complimentary copy of our country’s Constitution. The evening’s Master of Ceremonies was SD’s Secretary of State Shantel Krebs and the keynote speaker was our SD Attorney General Marty Jackley.

The evening began with prayer from FHA friend and fellow patriot Pastor Keith Nash of the Mitchell First Wesleyan Church. Then Pastor Keith then picked up an old handsaw and played a beautiful rendition of ‘American The Beautiful’ with his wife, Sandra, on the piano and granddaughter Anna Gross as soloist.

Remember it was President Abraham Lincoln who wisely said at his First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861 the following: "Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulty."


The Dead End of Sexual Sin


Religious Freedom


Faith and Hope Community Breakfast

The Family Heritage Alliance was one of a host of sponsors and organizers responsible for this year's Faith and Hope (Rapid City) Community Breakfast.  Around 380 community leaders gathered for good food, prayer, and the opportunity to hear Walt Wilson.  Walt has had a colorful career and his resume' is a long one.  He served in the US Marines, and afterward had a hugely successful career in Silicon Valley, including some time as an executive at Apple.  He now runs Global Media Outreach which is a network of websites that have brought the word of God to 1.3 billion people in 132 countries.


JWC ScholarShare Banquet to Feature Lee Strobel


CitizenLink Talks Indiana RFRA


Stephanopoulos squares off against Governor Pence



March Luncheons On Both Sides of the State

On March 25, the FHA team was out in force at Rapid City’s Cedar Canyon Camp where 140 guests joined us for our Black Hills Area Luncheon. As is always the case when the TeenPact crew joins our projects, the room was infused with enthusiasm and energy. The TeenPact youth were an awesome addition as they served and some even spoke of their work and education in the TeenPact organization. Local area coordinator for TeenPact, Joanne Woods did a great job as she always does. Also joining us was our army of volunteers, too numerous to mention, without whom, the luncheon just would not have been possible. The program was led by our Executive Director, Dale Bartscher, who gave a report on the ongoing work of FHA, and a detailed report on the legislative work of FHA Action during the S.D. 2015 legislative session. Also, on stage, were the following:

  • Qusi Al-Haj representing Senator John Thune and reporting on Thune’s work in Washington D.C.
  • Adam Kaemingk representing Senator Mike Rounds and reporting on Round’s work in Washington D.C.
  • Kyle Holt representing Representative Kristi Noem and reporting on Noem’s work in Washington D.C.

FHA Executive Director Dale Bartscher and FHA Young Adult and Youth Coordinator Norman Woods were boots on the ground in Sioux Falls this past Thursday, March 26. An FHA Luncheon was held as sixty-one patriots, young and old, gather at the Abiding Savior Free Lutheran Church in what was one of the finest FHA events held to date in Sioux Falls. Abiding Savior’s Care Ministry Pastor David Olson opened the luncheon in Prayer and then all enjoyed a Pizza Ranch catered meal. In the House were a number of Legislators, Pastors and culturally concerned moms and dads. It was awesome to have as guests a number of young College Republicans from Augustana College along with a host of TeenPact Students. Encouraging Congressional Reports were given by Senator Round’s East River Director Mark Johnston and Senator Thune’s Constituent Services Representative Taylor Hoekstra. Dale shared FHA’s recent statewide activities, our work at the Capitol during the 90th Legislative Session and future FHA events. We now look forward to our next Sioux Falls Area Luncheon on Tuesday, May 12.


Citizen Magazine Features Work of FHA

Editor’s note: As Communications Director at FHA and FHA Action, I walk a rather fine line. On the one hand, I don’t want our communications to come off boastful or self-promoting. On the other hand, we have a host of folks who invest their hard earned money in the work we do, and they need to know that they are getting maximum bang for their buck. So, please consider the following, not as boastful, but as humbly submitting to our donors (both current and future) the quality of the work done by FHA and FHA Action.  --John Dennis

For an actor or director to receive an “Academy Award of Merit” (or as it is commonly known -- an Oscar) is a pretty big deal. It is a big deal for several reasons of course, but maybe the most significant of all is the fact that the award is granted by over 5,000 film industry leaders. In other words, the folks who know the film industry the best have stamped their approval on the film maker’s work. It’s one thing to get a nod of approval from a casual movie goer, but when your peers approve, that’s means quite a lot more.

In the world of public policy from a Biblical worldview, no one knows the landscape better than Family Research Council (FRC), Focus on the Family, and CitizenLink. Back in October, FRC’s President, Tony Perkins, complimented the work of the FHA and especially the leadership of our Executive Director, Dale Bartscher. This week, CitizenLink’s magazine “Citizen” hit the newsstands, and in it was a gracious four page piece by Matt Kaufman entitled “Squelching the Slave Trade”. The article focuses entirely on the work of the FHA and the network of people and organizations with whom we work closely in the fight against Human Trafficking. The article discusses our partnership with folks like Pastor Scott Craig, Tess Franzen, and many in the law enforcement and legal communities.

In the world we live in, we don’t get awards. That’s probably a good thing. However, we do get the reward of knowing we are promoting and protecting the core values on which this nation was founded. We like that. And once in a while, we get a nod from leaders in our field. We would certainly be doing this work regardless, but it serves to remind those good folks who support our work that they are investing in a hard-working organization and getting a good return on that investment.

I wish I could give you a link to an online version of the article, but as of this writing, I couldn’t find one. So you may just have subscribe to Citizen (click here).


Cavetime USA

"We will converge at Dry Gulch USA on April 24 & 25 to do battle together. Men from across the country will show up to worship, pray, and study the word. Join us as we lock shields and stand against the giants of lust, porn, & sex trafficking. Cavetime USA is open to all men age 12 and up. The cost of Cavetime USA is $110.00 per person. This includes a registration packet, The Sling, Cavetime book, meals, lodging, and activities such as go karts, arcade, basketball, sling competitions and more. Gather your posse and come kindle a fire with Cavetime USA. Check in begins at 2:00pm on Friday, April 24 and will remain open until dinner begins at 6:30pm. Dry Gulch, USA 572 Dry Gulch Rd, Adair, OK 74330"

For more info click here.

To register, click here.


New Office Suite in Rapid City

As the Family Heritage Alliance has grown, and as our mission has expanded, so has our need for office space. As you may know, we recently opened an office in Sioux Falls in attempt to address some of the increased office needs. If you have visited our Rapid City office, you have seen a nice spacious suite on the second floor of the “Life and Liberty Building” on Rapid’s West side. This suite provided a spacious office for our Executive Director, a work / storage room, a conference area, a kitchen, a reception station, and one work station (sometimes occupied by our Communications Director). Well, as of Sunday, December 7, the FHA officially moved our operations to one of the suites on the first floor of the same building. This new suite boasts an additional 518 square feet and comes complete with kitchen, conference area, a reception / interview room, work / storage room, and six offices. The suite also comes with a much improved telephone and office communications system. The last week has been a turbulent one as we have worked to get systems up and online and everything in its place. We are just about to the point where we can say we have the move completed. We are so appreciative to the team that did the “heavy lifting” last Sunday. Thanks TeenPact Teens, Norman Woods, Clark Ericks, Carol Black, and Jan Bartscher for your exhausting work getting it all moved. Thank you Amy Willson for tirelessly working on bringing order out of the chaos! Stop by and see our new facility. The coffee is always on.


Business Ramping Up at Sioux Falls Office

As of Tuesday, July 1, the FHA moved boldly to "the next level" as we officially occupied our office in Sioux Falls.  The office is located in the FCA building (1601 East 69th Street Suite #206).  We are now keeping regular office hours with volunteers and or staff in the office on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 9:00 AM to Noon.  In this picture (taken in our Sioux Falls office)  Pam Myers and Marlys Larsen are shown.  These two ladies regularly volunteer for us in Sioux Falls.  We are so grateful for the work these folks are doing for us.  By the way, the Sioux Falls office phone number is 605-274-3335.


November 18 Aberdeen Area Luncheon

On November 18, Executive Director Dale Bartscher, and Advisory Council member Michael Jarratt traveled East to Aberdeen.  The event that took them there was the FHA's Aberdeen Area Luncheon.  Thanks to the good folks at Aberdeen First Assembly did a superb job of hosting the luncheon for us.  Also, thanks to Michael Jarratt who took three days off from his job to travel around the state with Dale.

Dale writes:
We traveled (Michael Jarratt did most of the driving which allowed me to get some work done on the road) to Aberdeen where 11 community Leaders joined us for lunch.  Included in the room were 5 Pastors and the President of CWA here in SD.  It was a great lunch ...  At the end of the meeting we locked in a 15-passenger van to transport Pastors to our Capitol Summit...  God is good.


Carly Fiorina Inspires at November 12 Luncheon

On November 12, braving harsh cold and generally uncooperative weather, 175 folks gathered at Rapid City’s Open Bible Christian Center for our Black Hills Area Luncheon. They came to eat good food because that’s what you do at luncheons. They came to just enjoy the company of good likeminded people. And, they came to hear to be encouraged and inspired by Carly Fiorina (former CEO of Hewlett-Packard) and Dan Schneider (Executive Director of American Conservative Union). The crowd was far from disappointed. Also, at the event, Dale Bartscher, our Executive Director did what he does best, rallying good people around important issues. We also took a few moments out of the program to award to Pastor Gerad Strong (Lead Pastor of RC’s Bethel Assembly Church) the “Beyond the Walls Pastor” award. We could not have pulled off this event without the gracious hospitality and ministry of Associate Pastor Brian McDaniel and the amazing staff at Open Bible Christian Center. To all who pitched in and help make this a memorable day, our sincerest thanks!

If you missed the event, you can catch the keynote addresses in the video clip below (also provided to us by the good folks of Open Bible)!


A Conversation with Five Hundred Friends

We are genuinely humbled by the flood of Facebook friends of late. Far be it from us to brag, but wow, thanks! Just this week, our Facebook page crossed the 500 likes threshold. Now we know it’s not a thousand, but from our perspective, it represents a potential dialogue with 500 pretty important folks and you can’t be a good conversation with 500 friends. If you haven’t liked us yet, we would just be honored if you would stop by and make that connection. Dale recently said that the 500th person would win an all-expense paid trip to Wall, South Dakota. We are trying to determine who lucky number 500 was. Until we figure it out, we will just keep you in suspense! Click here to visit our Facebook page and see what all the fuss is about!


FHA Invited To Keynote The Yankton Rotary Club Meeting

Dale Bartscher, FHA Executive Director was accompanied by FHA Youth and Young Adult Division Coordinator Norman Woods as they recently traveled to Yankton, SD. They were invited there by Matthew Stone the Republican State Senate Candidate from District 18 - pictured here with Dale. Matt is a member of the Yankton Rotary Club and was able to secure Dale as their Club's October 28th Keynote Speaker. Thirty plus community leaders filled the room including State Representative Mike Stevens, State Representative Bernie Hunhoff, State Senator Jean Hunhoff, the County Sheriff and more. Dale shared with those in attendance the mission and work of the Family Heritage Alliance and our efforts with Human Trafficking awareness throughout South Dakota. Following the program he gifted each participant with Family Valued resources such as books, DVD's and informational brochures. The FHA is in hopes that other South Dakota ROTARY CLUBS might invite the FHA to their discussion table going forward.


Christian Heritage Week

Western Dakota Families Shares the Following:

Our governor, Dennis Daugaard, has signed a declaration proclaiming that November 2nd-8th is the 20th Annual South Dakota Christian Heritage Week!

This is the schedule of speaking engagements for Dr. Catherine Millard who has been instrumental in establishing Christian Heritage Weeks in almost every state in our union. She is also the author of The Rewriting of American History among about a dozen additional books.

Catherine herself will be traveling this route. This schedule was established some time ago and there is a chance it could be modified, changed, or added to. Catherine will have access to a rental car as she journeys around our state and into Wyoming.

Itinerary for "South Dakota's 20th Annual Christian Heritage Week,
November 2-8, 2014:"

Monday, November 3, 2014: Heritage Christian School, Gillette, WY.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014: Liberty Baptist Christian School, Rapid City.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014: Black Hills Christian Academy, Spearfish.
Thursday, November 6, 2014: Spearfish Classical Christian Academy, Spearfish.
Friday, November 7, 2014: Solid Rock Christian Academy, Moorecroft, WY.

Click here to read the Governor's proclamation