News Articles

Alabama leaders urged to follow Jesus’ example in servanthood

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (BP)–Legislators and other governmental leaders were challenged to focus on the servanthood of their roles during the March 5 Legislative Prayer Luncheon in Montgomery, Ala.

“Like Jesus, our Lord, let us assume the servant role in our various places of responsibility for the good of the people,” said keynote speaker Dan Ireland, executive director of Alabama Citizens Action Program (ALCAP) and member of Green Valley Baptist Church in Hoover.

Gov. Bob Riley, a member of First Baptist Church in Ashland, quoted Philippians 2:5-6, 18: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ. Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. … So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.”

“Our job, if we are going to be successful, is to always remember that we are servants,” Riley said, “not only of the people of Alabama, but also of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“We have to fight this fight, and we have to fight it daily,” he said. “We have to fight a fight in a way that we will carry God’s Word, but more importantly that we remain like Christ.”

Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright, a member of First Baptist Church in Montgomery, challenged state leaders “to put aside party politics, racial differences, economic differences and put our state first.”

“If you do that and pray to … God, we will be the most successful state in the nation,” he said.

Cosponsored by the governor’s office and the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions (SBOM) for almost three decades, the annual luncheon brings together all three branches of government and local church and denominational leaders. Rick Lance, SBOM executive director, said, “We believe in the power of prayer. The purpose … in gathering at this meeting is to let state legislators and other leaders, including our governor, know we are in covenant prayer with them.”

Joe Godfrey, pastor of Taylor Road Baptist Church in Montgomery and president of the Alabama Baptist State Convention, led the prayer for the state leaders.

“Give them the wisdom and courage they need to make the tough decisions to do the right things,” Godfrey prayed. “Help them to do what is best for this great state, not necessarily what is politically expedient or politically correct.”

Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley thanked those attending the luncheon for their prayers.

“During a campaign for statewide office, you have to be in it to know how bad it is,” said Baxley, a member of Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery.

“During the last few weeks of my campaign, the support of the people all over was so important to me,” Baxley said, noting she gained most of her strength from daily prayers led by church’s ministers.

“[They] called me every day and prayed for me on the telephone,” she said.

“I love holding the title of lieutenant governor, but let me just assure you that not for one minute do I think that any strength, courage or power I have comes from that title,” Baxley noted. “It is from my faith in God, and I am very thankful to be serving a state where people believe so strongly in our God.”

Ireland reminded the crowd that the challenges of this legislative session are great. “However, Alabama families, the faith community and state government, with God’s help, are equal to the task,” he said.

“I challenge us all to march lockstep along the roads, the streets, the avenues, the highways, the lanes and the paths through every nook and corner of Alabama to rally grassroots Alabamians as team players to guarantee that no child nor any citizen will be left behind or left out.

“Each person deserves the right to life and the opportunity to maximize his or her potential perpetuating the reality of the American dream,” Ireland said. “Do not major on what is politically expedient but rather on what is biblically correct.”

Quoting the French philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville, Ireland said, “America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

    About the Author

  • Jennifer Davis Rash