Shenandoah Valley “Salute to the Family” and A Celebration of God and Country

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I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for Which It Stands, One Nation Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All.

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Bishop E.W. Jackson repeatedly brought nearly 400 guests to standing ovations at the Forum’s 10th annual Shenandoah Valley “Salute to the Family” dinner on  Friday evening, May 13th, 2011 with a stirring call to a spiritual revival and to S.T.A.N.D. up for the Biblical values, enduring principles, and the Judeo-Christian foundation on which America was built and has prospered.  Laus Deo!


Celebration of God and Country

The Beginning Pledge: Dressed in formal attire and a black derby, Jim Henry introduced the “God and Country” program theme with a Red Skelton-style homily on the Pledge of Allegiance. He then led the audience in the Pledge itself with a deeper appreciation of its message, after which The Faithful Men sang The National Anthem.  It was a much-needed reminder that freedom is never free.

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VFIA #196 I Pledge Allegiance-One Nation, Under God: Part V from Dean Welty on Vimeo.

The Program: The Jericho Plan served as the model for recognizing our elected representatives, military personnel, pastors, and “We the People”, all marching together to confront evil and to rebuild the broken-down walls of America.  In attendance were Congressman Bob Goodlatte, state Sen. Mark Obenshain, Delegates Dickie Bell, Ben Cline, Todd Gilbert, Steve Landes, and Tony Wilt, plus Commonwealth’s Attorney Marsha Garst and Commissioner of the Revenue Lowell Barb.

Last year’s winner Rita Dunaway presented our second annual Wilberforce Award to Sen. and Mrs. Mark Obenshain in recognition of their leadership in promoting Life, Faith, Family, and Freedom in our culture and in the public square.  Applauding the selection, Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb highlighted the need for more such legislators in the VA General Assembly in order to pass badly needed pro-life and pro-family bills next year.   

Keynote Address: Bishop E.W. Jackson, Founder and President of S.T.A.N.D., then brought guests to their feet repeatedly with an inspiring and challenging call to “Stay True to America’s National Destiny”.   Pointing to the Biblical principles on which America was founded and prospered, Jackson deplored the way in which these principles were under constant attack and how America was straying from the moral values and Constitutional safeguards established by our Founding Fathers.  

He followed with a clarion call to Take a Stand for an America that would once again shine forth as a City on a Hill for the whole world.  The program concluded with the entire audience singing “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus” and “God Bless America – a moving close to a powerful evening.

Thank You! In the end, the Celebration was a praise to God and a tribute to everyone who is committed to returning America to the firm foundation of “religion and morality” on which it has prospered for over 400 years.  We are deeply grateful for your prayers, your encouragement, and your generous support.

If you could not attend the Celebration but would still like to show your support for the Forum and The Family Foundation, you can do so by check to the Valley Family Forum, 3465 Izaak Walton Drive, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

For the Record: You can watch this entire Celebration program on WAZT-TV in three different segments beginning this coming weekend, or you can go online here to watch the first segment with the other two segments to follow.  We will also soon have the entire program available on one DVD.  Stay tuned for details.

Warm Regards,

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views the Virginia Christian Alliance

About the Author

Dean Welty
Dean Welty is Founder and Director of the Valley Family Forum, a network of families in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia that works to defend and advance issues of Life, Faith, Family, and Freedom in the culture and in the public square. He has developed and led numerous seminars on “America’s Godly Heritage” and “Capstone: The Christian’s Role in Culture and Public Policy”, hosted a weekly television program entitled “Valley Faith in Action”, and is co-host of a weekly radio program entitled “Crossroads: Where Faith and Culture Meet”. He is a former public school teacher, overseas missionary, and senior diplomat with assignments in Asia, Washington, New York with the U.S. Mission to the UN, and as a Congressional Fellow on Capitol Hill. Dean and his wife Janet live in Harrisonburg, VA.