FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM FOR 35 YEARS
June 25, 2010
As many readers know, my youngest son, Tim Baldwin, is a constitutional attorney, historian, and author who writes his own syndicated column and who also hosts his own web site.
See Tim's web site here.
See Tim's archived columns here.
Today, Tim is writing a special edition to my column. What follows are his words.
On Sunday, June 27, 2010, I, and the rest of our family, will be helping to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Crossroad Baptist Church (CBC), with my dad, Chuck Baldwin, as the founding pastor--the church having held its first service on June 22, 1975, with only 6 people in attendance. I was born in 1979, so I missed the first several years of Crossroad Church's existence. I have heard the stories from my parents and grandmother, and I have seen the pictures of that ministry before I arrived. Its beginnings were of the most humble nature, I can assure. Crossroad Church has not been without its problems. No church is perfect, because people are not perfect. Still, God has used and continues to use Crossroad Church to transform my life and my family's life, and God has used and continues to use Crossroad Church to be a voice of truth, of motivation and of courage for many thousands of people across this country. There is not a church like it in the entire United States of America.
I remember as a child wishing I could spend more time with my dad, especially on the weekends. When I was young, Crossroad Church was young, and my dad was very busy with tasks that had to be done to ensure that the church functioned "decently and in order" (as scripture tells us). On almost every Saturday morning and afternoon, he was visiting people in the community, sharing the gospel and inviting them to attend our church. I still have vivid memories of crying as my dad got in his car and left our home. On Saturday nights, Dad would go over his sermons for the next Sunday. He worked late many nights and would not come home until it was almost time for bed. Through this, God had a purpose in mind, and my life would not be what it is today were it not for my dad's sacrifice in those early years.
My childhood was not like most kids--not physically speaking, but psychologically speaking--not just because I was the son of a preacher, but because of the unique leadership my dad possessed, the manner in which he led Crossroad Church and the manner in which he opposed political and social immoralities. There was not one child I grew up with that could relate to the life I was born into, even those whose parents were involved in gospel ministry. Many kids, even "religious" ones, made fun of my family and my dad, and reflected the sentiment and attitude that their parents trained into them. I knew at a very young age that my dad was different--just how different, I did not know. Time would tell just how different.
I personally witnessed men and women over my 30 years of living who tried to undermine and destroy the ministry of Chuck Baldwin at Crossroad Church, those who were supposedly his friends in the beginning but who proved to be otherwise in the end. Yet, my dad was faithful. I watched as my dad handled those unnerving situations in ways that almost defied human nature. If it were me in his position, I would have been in "fight mode" to destroy the enemy. But it was not so--not my dad. I have heard him say before: the hardest part of it was not people's treatment of him, but of his family. How true that must be. Yet, I do not remember my dad criticizing or revenging those talebearers and Judases, even when he was alone with his family in his own home. He stood upon principles of truth, and not personal feelings and emotions. He knew the church was not his, but God's. I was amazed at my dad's honor and self-control, and still am. It was and is that kind of leadership and discipline that I have observed at Crossroad Church my entire life.
It is hard to recall the countless times my dad engaged in our local community on a variety of issues and concerns. I remember my dad going to the school board meetings, the county commissioner meetings and the Florida State legislature declaring truth and sound reason. (I wish I had listened more as a child.) I remember watching my dad on television as he debated those unfriendly to faith and freedom. I remember hearing my dad on his first radio show, "A Preacher Views the News," where he commented from a biblical perspective on local, state and national events. He spoke to thousands at universities and colleges about abortion, evolution and government.
I remember when Bill Clinton was first elected President of the U.S. my dad felt the urge to do more for freedom, so he started the radio talk show, "Chuck Baldwin Live." I began to understand just how passionate my dad's love for freedom was. It only grew as time passed, along with his discernment and understanding of freedom's principles and God's science of it. I remember going to watch him in the studio as he performed the show. I have some fond memories of those days. Late nights were common as Dad studied in his office. My siblings, my mom and I would have been sleeping for hours before Dad turned in for the night. He became a very notable influence in our local area, but that was only the beginning of God's will for Chuck Baldwin.
Through these many platforms, my dad was nominated the Vice-Presidential candidate for the Constitution Party in 2004 and the Presidential candidate in 2008 for the same party. During the 2008 campaign, Dad traveled over 30,000 miles proclaiming the message of liberty and constitutional government. We all felt honored when Congressman Ron Paul publicly endorsed Dad for President.
My dad did not seek these positions, but God presented them to him. From those opportunities, my dad proclaimed the truth as he saw it, just as he had for the past three decades. He has become a national leader, a spokesman and statesman for freedom, and a source of light for those searching for truth.
In addition, my dad led a national movement of "Black Regiment" pastors to publicly identify themselves as such for the purpose of giving liberty-loving patriots across America the opportunity to find likeminded pastors with whom to worship. So far, more than 300 pastors and preachers are listed on Dad's Black Regiment directory.
See the Black Regiment directory here.
Yet first and foremost, my dad was the pastor of Crossroad Church, and he never shirked his responsibilities to it for the sake of other tasks.
To some people, my dad became "the preacher who meddled in politics," and they despised him for it. But to others, he was the proclaimer of the whole counsel of God and the defender of faith and freedom, and they loved him for it. As one knows instinctively in today's geo-religious-political culture, this type of preacher is unusual--very unusual. Naturally, the people who Chuck Baldwin would attract to his church would likely reflect this uniqueness. Indeed it has. Not just anyone will become a member of Crossroad Baptist Church. Some may attend for a while, but inevitably, for many people, the deep message of truth and the leadership of Chuck Baldwin has become difficult to accept and inconvenient to practice. Has this hindered the message delivered from Crossroad Church? Not at all. To the contrary, it has grown.
Over the years, my dad's leadership and stand for freedom created a sifting process. This process has left Crossroad Church with people who genuinely love the truth of God in how it relates to all of life, including politics. I have seen the lives of hundreds of people become transformed and enlightened through the ministry of Crossroad Church. My best friends in the world are at Crossroad Church. I teach their children in my Sunday School class; I sing for them and alongside them on Sundays; I help lead them in worship; I pray with them; I laugh and fellowship with them; I share their burdens and concerns. Crossroad Church has become a family; and as of recently, our church has provided a way for people all across the country to join us in our Sunday services through the Internet, as we livestream our services each Sunday morning at approximately 10:30 a.m. (Central time). I especially encourage readers to join with us during our 35th anniversary celebration, this Sunday, June 27. Go here.
These people at Crossroad Church love and support Chuck Baldwin as their pastor; they support the word of God preached in the sermons and taught in the classes; they put into ministerial practice their own talents and gifts to further proclaim the truth of God in the church and throughout this country; they have accepted the responsibility of carrying out the great commission of Jesus Christ. Crossroad Church has become a body and family of soldiers for Jesus Christ in every sense of the word because Chuck Baldwin made the sacrifices and commitments of faithfulness as my siblings and I were growing up. If there is any testament to the ministry of Crossroad Church, it is the evidence of my siblings' and my devotion, love and service to God's work done at that church, not by force, but by choice. Crossroad Church has been my home my entire life, and I am so thankful to God for my dad, my family, my pastor and my church. Happy 35th anniversary, Crossroad Baptist Church!
And there is one more thing: I would like to ask you, the reader of Dad's column, in honor of the 35th anniversary of Dad's founding of Crossroad Church, would you prayerfully consider making a contribution to CBC during this special (and difficult) time? The current recession is hurting all of us. Many of the faithful contributors to CBC are directly connected to the building industry, and as you know, this industry has been hit especially hard. As if that is not bad enough, the oil spill in the Gulf Coast is exacting a horrific toll upon the Gulf Coast economy. According to the last financial statement I saw, our church is nearly $20,000 in the red. I know Dad is struggling with decisions such as cutting back radio stations and Internet livestreaming, as well as other cutbacks.
How many preachers do you know that are out there on the front lines for freedom like my dad, Chuck Baldwin? It would be a shame if his voice were silenced due to a lack of funds.
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Therefore, in honor of CBC's 35th anniversary, would you please consider giving a special contribution? I know there are some who could give a substantial gift of thousands of dollars, while most could only give much smaller amounts. I also know that there are tens--and maybe hundreds--of thousands of people who read Dad's column. If everyone who feels impressed would send whatever they could afford, this deficit would be eliminated and the need would be met.
If you feel impressed to give, the fastest way to donate is to use a credit card online. Go to this link.
Or, if you prefer to write a check or money order, please make them payable to:
P.O. Box 37039
Pensacola, Florida 32526
Of course, all donations to CBC are tax-deductible.
I want to further say THANK YOU to all of Dad's faithful readers, listeners and supporters. You cannot know--this side of Heaven--how special you all are to my dad, to me, and to the rest of our family. It is wonderful to know that there are still 7,000 (and a lot more) who have not bowed the knee to Baal.
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