In addition to Huckabee’s keynote address, former Senator Pat
Neal receives the 2017 Defender of Faith and Freedom Award.
On Wednesday, representatives from all three branches of state government attended the annual Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition Legislative Prayer Breakfast in Tallahassee. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee delivered a powerful keynote address to the crowd of almost 300 on the importance of people of faith engaging in politics and culture. This year’s event was co-hosted by Concerned Women for America of Florida.
Huckabee, now a resident of Walton County, thanked the leaders in attendance, including Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, House Speaker Richard Corcoran, and Supreme Court Justices Ricky Polston and Alan Lawson, for their willingness to serve, acknowledging to laughter from the crowd that his current role of political commentator is much easier and pays better than the hard work of actually governing.
“If our culture is going to be preserved, kept from decay and rotting, we can’t look to the people in Hollywood, to the people in New York, and we sure can’t look to the people in Washington,” said Huckabee. “We’ve got to look to the people in our churches.”
“I believe in government and politics and legislation, I really do,” said Huckabee. “But I still believe the greatest power is not the power of elected office, but the power the Father gives us through the Son and invites us to access every single day.”
Putnam, the 2016 recipient of the Defender of Faith and Freedom Award, presented this year’s award to former Senator Pat Neal, the owner of Neal Communities in Sarasota.
“Pat Neal is a man of deep and abiding faith,” said Putnam. “He continues to give back, not only to our community but to our state. His faith and his works are to be emulated and admired by us all.”
Other speakers included Corcoran, who talked about the importance of integrity in public life, regardless of personal consequences. National Faith and Freedom Coalition Executive Director Tim Head urged attendees to contact Senator Bill Nelson to encourage him to support the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Senators Daphne Campbell and Keith Perry read scripture from the Old and New Testaments.
“Governor Huckabee’s message on the need for people of faith to engage in politics rather than retreat from our culture was spot on,” said Jim Kallinger, Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition President. “His charge for us to be ‘salt’ and ‘light’ as Jesus taught is one we should all take to heart as we work for public policies that will promote the common good and protect the most vulnerable in our society.”
In addition to Putnam, Corcoran, Polston, Lawson, Campbell, and Perry, other elected officials in attendance were:
- State Senator Dennis Baxley
- State Representative Byron Donalds
- State Representative Jay Fant
- State Senator Denise Grimsley
- State Representative Gayle Harrell
- State Representative Stan McClain
- Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil
- State Representative George Moraitis
- State Representative Mel Ponder
- State Representative Cyndi Stevenson
About Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition
The Florida Faith and Freedom Coalition is committed to educating, equipping, and mobilizing people of faith and like-minded individuals to be effective citizens. Together, the Coalition influences public policy and enacts legislation that strengthens families, promotes time-honored values, protects the dignity of life and marriage, lowers the tax burden on small business and families, and requires government to tighten its belt and live within its means.
ON THE WEB: www.ffcflorida.com