Governor taps White for Faith-Based Missouri
JEFFERSON CITY—Gov. Matt Blunt on Sept. 27 unveiled Faith-Based Missouri, a new initiative to boost cooperation between state government and faith and community-based groups to provide services to citizens in need, with one of the five team members being Cole County Sheriff Greg White, a member of Southridge Baptist Church in Jefferson City.
“The most powerful sources of charity, virtue, and shared prosperity in our society are not found in government, but in families, churches, charities and free markets,” Blunt said at a Faith-Based Conference held in Jefferson City. The governor’s home church is Second Baptist in Springfield.
“If we really desire effective government, we must engage these wellsprings of charity, virtue, and shared prosperity. If we really want services that do more than feed a man for a day, or provide temporary shelter, we must cooperate more often with faith- and community-based organizations. If we really wish to transform lives and empower Missourians to make lasting positive change for the future, we must find a way to help get more people of faith involved in our state-administered social programs.”
Blunt announced that the team is charged with studying how we can improve relations between state government and religious and secular charities. The team includes three Missourians with life-long ties to faith-based communities and state employees who share the governor’s commitment to building Faith-Based Missouri. The community team members will travel the state to meet with leaders in Missouri churches and charities to learn what we are doing right, what we are doing wrong, and what we can do to encourage greater cooperation. The remaining members will work closely with state agencies to find answers to the same questions.
Partnering with religious charities to make Missouri a better place for all Missourians is the goal.
Besides White, team members are: Reynaldo Anderson of St. Louis, an assistant professor of education at Harris-Stowe University and a member of Saint Peter AME Church in St. Louis; Andrew Rollins III of Kansas City, an ordained itinerant elder in the AME Church; Ed Martin of Jefferson City, the governor’s chief of staff who is an active Catholic and the Father McGivney Fellow for Rights of Conscience with Americans United for Life; and Angel McCormick Franks of St. Louis, director of the Missouri Office of Supplier and Workforce Diversity.
White, who gave his testimony in chapel at the Baptist Building in February, is an ordained Baptist minister with a lifetime of experience in serving his fellow Americans. The governor noted that White understands how to bridge religious and cultural divides, and has some innovative ideas on how faith-based organizations can serve Missourians through disaster response coordination.