Upward of 600 enthusiastic people jammed the VIP Tent at the International Agri-Center in Tulare, CA on Feb. 13 to hear national political leaders speak about how Capitol Ministries’ Bible study ministries help them live true to their Christian faith in the rough and tumble world of politics.
The sold-out crowd at Capitol Ministries’ first fundraising dinner included dairy, produce, nut, and fruit farmers, state and local community leaders, and attendees of the 51st World Ag Expo farm show, the largest annual exposition of its kind featuring cutting-edge agriculture technology and equipment.
Keynote speaker Sonny Perdue, former Georgia Governor, said he was right at home in California’s fertile Central Valley because he grew up feeding calves and plowing fields on his father’s dairy and crop farm in Bonaire, Georgia. CA’s Central Valley is one of the most productive in the world, providing more than half of the fruits, vegetables, and nuts grown in the United States.
Now in a political career that he believes God called him to, Perdue told supporters of Capitol Ministries, which plants discipleship Bible studies to political leaders of the world:
“I am here to tell you that I am the beneficiary of your investment.”
Perdue attends a Bible study in Washington, D.C. that is led by Capitol Ministries President Ralph Drollinger and attended by 11 of the 15 members of President Donald Trump’s White House Cabinet.
One of the most powerful men in national politics, Perdue said he never desired a political career. After reaching the rank of Captain in the U.S. Air Force, he earned a Veterinary Medicine degree. With a successful veterinary practice, a wife he was devoted to, a comfortable home full of children, Perdue said God used a “scrub brush” to upturn his “Rockwell life.”
“God allowed me to do all the things I wanted to do to be successful,” he said, before calling him to big agri-business where he depended upon farmers who depended upon God. That prepared him for public service where he served as state senator, then Georgia Governor, and now in the nation’s capital.
In Washington, D.C., Perdue said God is continuing to use the “scrub brush” on him through Drollinger “to understand what our mission in life is. God calls us to the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20:”
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
“That is what Ralph teaches us, we are to understand our responsibilities to the people of America, but also to our God.”
Also at home in the agriculture community was former U.S. Congresswoman and 2016 presidential candidate Michele Bachmann who said, “the best thing on my resume is I married a dairy farmer on the family farm.”
She lauded Perdue for his sincere and open testimony and said she was encouraged by the change of tide in the nation’s capital.
“We have a man in the White House who is not ashamed to name the name of God,” she said. “And now there is a Bible study that 11 of the 15 Cabinet Members attend! That is amazing! That is unheard of!”
As a U.S. Representative, Mrs. Bachmann said she also benefitted from a Capitol Ministries D.C. study.
“Ralph Drollinger’s Bible study is the highest quality material I have ever seen. It plums deep and intersects with the decisions we are making in D.C.”
“Leaders in Washington are trying to make the best decisions they can make and through these studies our minds are being renewed by what the Bible has to say about important issues. The Bible is the owner’s manual written by the creator.”
“I want to thank all of you for supporting Capitol Ministries. You have chosen to support the best ministry in Washington, D.C.”
Now a Capitol Ministries Board Member, Mrs. Bachmann said the goal for 2018 is to “deepen and secure the amazing growth God has allowed” CM in 2017.
“There are huge doors about to be opened internationally. His heart is broken for the nations and we can see the Gospel go where no one could have imagined,” she said.
During the Christ-centered event, both Mrs. Bachmann and Perdue explained the Gospel and encouraged those who do not know Christ to make a commitment to Him.
C-Span’s interview with former Texas Governor, Rick Perry about his Christian faith was broadcast on twin big screens. Perry called Drollinger a “brilliant, knowledgeable” Bible teacher. “We delve deeply into Scripture and this is the first time in 100 years that there has been a Cabinet Bible study,” he said.
Speaking about “what Capitol Ministries means to me,” U.S. Representative Jeff Denham, CA-10, said he first benefitted from the ministry as a California state senator, and later in D.C. He said the Bible studies provide a Scriptural perspective on current issues and support him in his faith.
With eight Global directors in place, Capitol Ministries is positioned to grow internationally “faster than we can keep up,” Drollinger told the crowd. So far, 24 ministries have been planted in foreign federal capitols and a new ministry is being planned for the European Union Parliament which will lead to ministry plantings throughout Europe. A ministry is also being discussed for political leaders in Baghdad, he said.
Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Frank Sontag, the highly-acclaimed host of a popular live, Monday through Friday drive-time Los Angeles, CA KKLA radio show. Sontag also records CM’s Bible studies that are available for download at capmin.org
The stellar evening, that included a superb sit-down dinner, was planned, organized, and orchestrated by Capitol Ministries Board Member Rob Hilarides and his wife, Jeannie, owners of Hilarides Dairy. Many volunteers from California Women for Agriculture tirelessly performed numerous jobs behind the scenes.
Perry Gauthier, Capitol Ministries North America Director, and Faith, his wife and ministry partner, spoke with guests who stopped by the CM booth to request ministry literature. Many people told the Gauthiers that they were uplifted by the speakers. Among them was Cari Ruble of Visalia who attended the dinner with a friend and had not heard of Capitol Ministries before the event.
“I am so encouraged by what I heard tonight,” she said. “We are commanded to pray for our leaders in authority, and I do, but I never knew what was happening behind the scenes until tonight. This is powerful and it’s something you would never hear on the nightly news. I am so inspired and encouraged to know that our leaders are being discipled in the Word of God.”