JEFFERSON CITY– More than 1,000 people from area churches gathered at the State Capitol Aug. 1 for a “Sanctity of Marriage Rally.” State Sen. Sarah Steelman, (R)-Rolla, who sponsored the constitutional amendment bill to protect traditional marriage, addressed the throng.
Churches rally for traditional marriage
By Bob Baysinger
August 3, 2004
JEFFERSON CITY – Hundreds of Missouri Baptists joined Christians from other denominations on the state Capitol lawn Sunday evening, Aug. 1, to show support for Amendment 2 on the Aug. 3 ballot.
For those gathered, not everybody agreed theologically on every doctrine of the Christian faith, but there was no disagreement where the sanctity of marriage is concerned.
The estimated crowd of more than 1,000 included Southern Baptists, Pentecostals, Evangelical Free and other non-denominationalists. They jumped to their feet several times during the hour-long service to give standing ovations to speakers who declared that God intends for marriage to be the union of one man and one woman.
Two Missouri Baptists pastors from Jefferson City – Ken Lumley, Memorial Baptist Church; and James Walker, Southridge Baptist Church – participated in the program, along with James Jackson, House of Prayer Family Church; Mark Kiekhafer Jefferson City Grace Evangelical Free; Tom Hargrove First Assembly of God; and State Sen. Sarah Steelman, (R)-Rolla, who authored the state constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage (Amendment 2).
The pro-family crowd displayed their support for the Amendment 2 with T-shirt slogans (One Man + On Woman = Marriage) and hundreds of signs urging a “yes” vote on the amendment.
Monte Shinke, pastor of Concord Baptist Church, Jefferson City, helped Lumley and Walker organize the pre-election rally. Tony Ward, Concord Baptist, directed a 100-voice choir comprised of singers from the different churches.
Speaking from the Capitol steps, Lumley declared that God does everything for His own glory.
“What does God’s glory have to do with the sanctity of marriage?” Lumley asked.
“Everything,” he said, answering his own question.
“For God did not create and ordain the institution of marriage between one man and one woman in the Garden of Eden primarily for Adam and Eve’s happiness,” Lumley explained. “God created and ordained the institution of marriage between one man and one woman in the Garden of Eden for one primary reason – God’s own glory!”
He said God created and ordained marriage between one man and one woman so that a real and actual taste of the uninterrupted, un-maligned community and relationship of the Godhead itself could be known and experienced by God’s creation.
“In the Garden … God was gloried in Adam and Eve’s marriage because who God is and what God is like was displayed, expressed and experienced in their marriage relationship – one man and one woman coming together as one flesh – for God’s glory, for their joy.”
Steelman said she learned the value of marriage growing up as she watched the commitment her parents made to each other. They have been married 57 years.
“I think it is very unfortunate that times require us to put an amendment into our constitution,” Steelman said, “but we need to do this to protect the institution of marriage.”
She described marriage as the “very foundation of the family.”
“Family is the bedrock that anchors us to our past and guides our children to their future,” she added. “We have got to protect the family in this country.”
Steelman predicted that if Missourians do not define marriage in the state constitution, an activist judge will “draw the line for us.”
“We’ve seen it all over the country,” she said. “In Massachusetts a judge threw out the statute, calling it unconstitutional and ignoring the legislative process. This is the very simple reason we need it in our constitution – to protect us from an activist judge who will come in and rewrite our legislation and say it is okay for two people of the same sex to marry.”
Steelman said she fears complacency more than any other factor in the battle for the marriage amendment.
“There are good people who believe in the definition of marriage as we believe in it,” she said. “But they’re complacent about this. They ask, ‘Why do we really need this in our constitution?’
“Incrementally, we have already seen what has happened to the moral fiber of our country,” she said. “And it happens little by little by little. This is why we need men and women of action.
“We need people like you to get up and say what is right and what is wrong.”