Huckabee to TMU audience: 'There is no freedom without faith'

"We are tuning ourselves to the Word of God.,” former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee emphasized to those gathered at the Faith and Freedom Celebration, held March 6 at Truett McConnell University. JENNY GREGORY/Special

By Jenny Gregory

CLEVELAND — Former Arkansas governor and political commentator Mike Huckabee punctuated Truett McConnell University’s Second Annual Faith and Freedom Celebration with a call for the audience to “stick” with what’s eternal.

“We need to raise a generation that loves Jesus, thanks God for our country, and takes a stand for the freedoms we have," TMU President Emir Caner told the crowd. JENNY GREGORY/Special

“Do you know what I love about Truett McConnell?” Huckabee asked. “Your campus has said, ‘We stick with the Bible, we stick with God’s truth, we do not simply go to every trend, and we are not tuning the curriculum and the programming of this university to what people think by some contemporary standard. We are tuning ourselves to the Word of God.’”

The event, held Saturday evening, March 6, was hosted by Fox News commentator Todd Starnes. Special music by the TMU chorale and wind ensemble was followed by gospel artist Jacob “Jake” Cowley, who began the evening with a selection of patriotic songs during the presentation of the colors.

“It is a blessing to be on the Truett McConnell University campus,” said Starnes. “I’m just so excited for you to hear from Governor Huckabee, who is a dear friend of mine and a great man of God.”

Fox News commentator Todd Starnes served as host for the 2019 Faith and Freedom Celebration held on March 6 at Truett McConnell University. JENNY GREGORY/Special

Huckabee received a warm welcome as Starnes introduced the keynote speaker. The former governor, relating to the celebration’s title, spoke of America’s freedom and the right of Americans to serve the one true God. “We are free because we have faith in God!” he exclaimed.

Huckabee’s address focused on family, God, faith, and religious liberty to a crowd of over 1,200, bringing about his experience as the author of several best-selling books, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, public speaker, and a political commentator on “The Huckabee Report.”

After campaigning for the Republican nomination in the 2008 and 2016 presidential elections, he eventually became a supporter of President Donald Trump. His daughter, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, currently serves as White House Press Secretary.

Huckabee practiced with the TMU Jazz Combo before performing with them at the Celebration. The Yamaha bass donated by Lancaster Music of Gainesville that he used and signed will be auctioned off through a silent auction first being held April 11 at a TMU Chorale concert and culminating with a Wind Ensemble concert April 30. Proceeds will go to assist Michaelyn Loper, a TMU Music major sophomore, as she undergoes medical treatments. JENNY GREGORY/Special

Empower the Call

TMU opened the doors to state representatives, law enforcement officials, military and ROTC members, local businessmen and women, members of the community, faculty, staff, and students for the event.

Displays of patriotism such as the presentation of the colors permeated the Faith and Freedom Celebration. JENNY GREGORY/Special

One hundred percent of all proceeds from the Faith and Freedom Celebration goes directly to the Empower the Call campaign which will: reduce student debt for TMU alumni who are active missionaries; provide financial assistance so that more current students can participate in mission trips; and retain more students by providing scholarship assistance to students with financial needs, who may not otherwise return to TMU.

“I hope your generosity overcomes you tonight because you’ll want to be a part of helping this wonderful Christian university as they continue to stand for the Lord, teach the word of God to these students, and send them out to change the world as people who are unapologetically committed to stand up for the Word of God,” said Huckabee.

The former presidential candidate ended with a challenge to continue to stand up for religious freedom. “Would you be the someone? Would you do the something to save this great country?”

TMU President Emir Caner concluded the evening by saying, “We need to raise a generation that loves Jesus, thanks God for our country, and takes a stand for the freedoms we have. That’s the heartbeat of Truett McConnell University.”

Jenny Gregory is the digital content specialist for Marketing and Communications at TMU. To contribute to the Empower the Call fund, text EMPOWER to (70) 222-1961 or call (706) 865-2134, ext. 3801.

culture, Mike Huckabee, Truett McConnell University


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