Tennessee Pastors Network: How Is a Woman Jailed for Her Religious Beliefs in a State With 5,000-Plus Churches?

The Tennessee Pastors Network (TNPN, www.tnpastors.net) has been keeping on top of the religious freedom story of Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, who was sent to jail yesterday for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

Yesterday, TNPN released the following statement:

“Cases like this are reality now, as the faithful around the country will slowly but surely be forced to either go against their beliefs and God’s Word or pay the price,” said TNPN President Dale Walker. “This is what’s coming to our courthouses as well as our church houses, and we must draw a line in the sand. We must stand.

“In fewer than 90 days from the SCOTUS ruling, a faithful elected Christian official is now heading to jail as a result of a court ruling that is godless. America is on the fast track to losing its First Amendment rights and freedom of religion! We must stand as pastors, because the church is a last bastion of truth as our nation is rotting from the top down.”

Today, Walker offered further insight to the news with the following commentary:

“How could a duly elected Christian woman end up on trial for her faith in the Bluegrass State of Kentucky? How could she be in jail just for standing for her Christian beliefs? How could this happen in a state that has 5,011 Christian churches?

“Wake up, church! Kim Davis was taken to jail and remains there because she stood firm on her God-given rights of Christian conscience. The Christian church has long had its head in the sand and is not at all prepared for this hellish onslaught against religious freedom. While some pastors may address this issue from the pulpit this coming Sunday, many will never discuss the matter, and sadly, many will say she should have compromised her Christian values and given in.

“America has certainly lost her moorings, and this unrighteous decree will have far-reaching effects into every church pew in America. The wicked are ruling and the people of God should be mourning. Sadly, the general populace will pay the ultimate price in persecuting Christians as honest public servants whose only crime is that they are truly living out their values and worldview in their simple lives.

“ALL churches should call a day of mourning and repentance at local courthouses and church houses across our land! Nine men and women in black robes have decreed this unrighteous declaration, and we must not forget Kim Davis. She is in the dungeon of darkness but she can hold her head high, as she did not sell her soul to the highest bidder. It is not Kim Davis who is defiant, but our nation, and the Bible clearly states that it’s better to obey God than man.

“Wake up, pastors, from your lethargy—the alarm bells are ringing! Wake up the pews and shake them with eternal truths, as did the sermon by Jonathan Edwards, ‘Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.’ Wake up and call for prayer and fasting, and pray as John Knox did. The Queen of England feared his prayers more than all the armies of the world! The church seemingly has become powerless and useless in the critical time that she is needed the most!

“Remember—Kim Davis went to jail in a state that has 5,011 churches. The church should hang our head in sad repentance that we have allowed our great nation to reach such a sad spiritual state of disrepair. Kim Davis, look up, dear Christian lady, your redemption draweth high! Our God fearing nation was founded with people who had moral fiber in every part of their being and would not bow to the King of England and only bowed to King Jesus. We pray that God gives pastors and our nation’s leaders a transplant of some of Kim Davis’ moral fortitude.”

TNPN will address issues that are crucial to Tennesseans and equip them to defend their religious freedom at the “Stand in the Gap for Truth” Rally and Conference in Nashville on Sept. 17.

Starting at 11 a.m. on Sept. 17, the rally will take place at the Legislative Plaza, 301 6th Ave N in Nashville. Pastors from across Tennessee who are part of TNPN will partner with state legislators to host the event that will engage Tennesseans to address the most talked-about issues of the day such as shifting marriage and family foundations, an unworkable immigration system, weak terrorism laws, failing education, a damaging nationalized health care system, lack of religious freedom protections and the blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The rally, in response to many months of judicial and political decisions that have taken away states’ rights and stripped Americans of their religious liberties, will give Tennesseans a voice and equip them to call for change.

Following the “Stand in the Gap for Truth” Rally will be the Tennessee Pastors Network’s annual conference, which will welcome Bishop E.W. Jackson and Rafael Cruz, father of presidential hopeful Ted Cruz. For the evening event at Hillcrest Baptist Church, 621 Hartsville Pike in Lebanon, Tenn., dinner begins at 5 p.m. (space is limited and registration is necessary; information is available at www.tnpastors.net/events or by emailing patriotpastorstn@gmail.com). The conference, which is free on a first-come basis, will begin at 7 p.m. at the church, and rally speakers will be present to give an in-depth account of what Tennesseans can do to protect and speak up for the Volunteer State.

Top-name speakers at the rally will include:

  • Rafael Cruz, father of presidential hopeful Ted Cruz. Cruz is a powerful example of the American dream. Born in Cuba, he lived and suffered under a cruel, oppressive dictator, began fighting the regime as a teenager, and was imprisoned and tortured for his role in that fight. He arrived in Texas on a student visa, worked his way through college, learned English and built a business. Today, Cruz is an ordained minister and president of Kingdom Translation Services. He travels the country sharing his story and speaking on the biblical foundations of the nation, while encouraging Christians to return the country to the principles that made America exceptional.
  • E.W. Jackson, president and founder of STAND (Staying True to America’s National Destiny), a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Judeo-Christian values and bringing Americans together across racial and cultural lines. He is also the 2013 Republican Nominee for Lt. Governor of Virginia. After service with the U.S. Marines, Jackson was ordained a pastor in 1979 and consecrated a bishop in 1998. He is the author of “Ten Commandments to an Extraordinary Life” and is a senior fellow with the Family Research Council.
  • Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary and past president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s official entity assigned to address social, moral and ethical concerns. In 2005, Land was named as one of Time Magazine’s “25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America.” He was the 2013 Watchman Award recipient from the Family Research Council for his leadership on moral and cultural issues. In 2014, he was appointed as a Senior Research Fellow of the ERLC’s Research Institute, and in 2015, was in the top 15 of Newsmax’s “Top 100 Christian Leaders in America.”
  • Rep. Judd Matheny (R-Tullahoma), who serves District 47, in Coffee and part of Warren counties. He is an eight-year veteran of the U.S. Army and the Tennessee Army National Guard and an eight-year veteran of state and local law enforcement. Matheny is a member of the House Health Committee, the House Insurance and Banking Committee and the House Health Subcommittee. He is chairman of the Coffee County Republican Party and a past chairman of the Davidson County Crimestoppers, as well as a member of the Tennessee Farm Bureau, National Rifle Association, Master Mason and Tullahoma Rotary.
  • Sam Rohrer, former longtime legislator and president of the American Pastors Network (APN, www.americanpastorsnetwork.net). The former candidate for Pennsylvania governor and U.S. Senate is the host of several APN radio programs, “Stand in the Gap Minute,” “Stand in the Gap Today” and “Stand in the Gap Weekend,” which are collectively heard on hundreds of stations throughout the country. APN is uniquely providing the structure and encouragement for pastors to speak biblical truth with a united voice into family, the church and civil government.

TNPN is a state chapter of APN, the largest national network dedicated to equipping pastors to be a voice for truth in the public square. For more information on the rally or the conference, visit www.tnpastors.net.

TNPN and APN offer pastors numerous online resources that help clergy choose sermon topics and find information for other church ministries. With some free and some paid resources, topics include abortion, apologetics, creation, the culture war, economics, education, the environment, history, homosexuality, Islam and marriage, along with many others.

The Tennessee Pastors Network encourages pastors to bring together biblical and constitutional principles in their sermons and provides resources to pastors throughout the state. For more information on TNPN, visit its Facebook page or call (931) 267-0816.

TNPN is a group of biblically faithful clergy and church liaisons whose objective is to build a permanent infrastructure of like-minded clergy who affirm the authority of Scripture, take seriously Jesus’ command to be the “salt and light” to the culture, encourage informed Christian thinking about contemporary social issues, examine public policy issues without politicizing their pulpits and engage their congregations in taking part in the political process on a non-partisan basis.

The American Pastors Network is the largest, national network of pastors who believe in the authority of scripture; who boldly preach the whole counsel of God with a disciplined application of a biblical worldview to public policy; who are building a permanent infrastructure of biblically faithful pastors and lay leaders; and who are mobilizing congregations to participate in the political process on a non-partisan basis. For more information on APN, visit www.americanpastorsnetwork.net, its Facebook page or follow APN’s Twitter feed, @AmericanPastors. Those interested in forming a chapter in their state may contact amy@americanpastors.net.

The American Pastors Network is a Ministry Program Affiliate of Capstone Legacy Foundation (a 501(c)(3) non-profit Christian Public Community Foundation registered nationwide). APN’s daily short radio feature, “Stand in the Gap,” airs on more than 40 stations, and the American Family Radio Network airs the one-hour “Stand in the Gap Weekend” on 140 additional stations nationwide. A live one-hour program launched in 2015, “Stand in the Gap Today,” airs on several Pennsylvania radio stations.


To interview Dale Walker from the Tennessee Pastors Network or a representative of the American Pastors Network, contact Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102, or Beth Harrison at 610-584-1096, ext. 104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com.