Apr 20, 2010

Awakening hits campus

by Tiffany Edwards

“Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again,” Ronald Reagan said in his first inaugural speech as governor of California on Jan. 5, 1967.

The Freedom Federation takes this idea seriously, which is why they held The Awakening 2010 conservative conference at Liberty April 15-16. The event opened Thursday evening at Thomas Road Baptist Church (TRBC) with music and messages from guest speakers, including Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, School of Law Dean and Liberty Counsel founder Mathew Staver, Ron Luce of Teen Mania, Dr. Tim Clinton and many others. The two-day event featured 52 nationally recognized speakers.

Friday began with a session at 8 a.m. featuring a video message from Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’Alon and Israeli Member of the Knesset for Likud and Chairman of World Likud Danny Danon, speaking on Jihadism and the Threat to Western Values.

Afterward, Friday’s convocation featured Rev. Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), who spoke on the importance of young Christian Americans remaining strong and steadfast in their religious and political convictions despite heavy opposition from society. Rodriguez cited Joshua 1:6 in his message.

“Ladies and gentlemen, you are the roar of the 21st century,” Rodriguez said. “When you raise your voice, carrying the cross with strength and courage in the name of Christ, I declare that nothing will take away the roar of the church of Jesus Christ in America.”

The rest of the day included a session titled “New Healthcare Law—It’s Economic and Political Implications,” as well as smaller sessions between 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on topics such as immigration, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender agenda, the millennial generation, a discussion about social justice, abortion in America, pastors and political activity, African American and Latino values and issues, and religious liberty and public schools, the impending Supreme Court nomination, and many other topics.

The conference finished with the Liberty and Justice Rally held Friday evening at TRBC. The rally was combination of praise, worship, prayer and short speeches about the issues that young Americans face today. Gospel singer Eddie James and violinist Maurice Sklar performed throughout the evening, while Lou Engle led prayer and worship. Speakers at the rally included President of Liberty’s Student Government Association Matt Mihelic, campus pastor Johnnie Moore, Dean of the Liberty School of Law Mathew Staver and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez among others.

The topic of abortion in America was covered at the rally. Speakers urged minorities, which are the most heavily affected by abortion in America, to stand up for pro-life causes.

Twenty-two percent of all pregnancies in America are aborted, and 37 percent of those are performed on black women, even though black women make up only 13 percent of the national population, according to statistics from the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI). Overall, 14 million black children have been killed by abortion since 1973, which is more than the total number of black fatalities from all other causes combined, according to the CDC.

“People ask me all the time as I travel the country and the world, ‘If abortion is the leading cause of death in the black community, then why are they not outraged?’ And my answer is sad, but it’s simple — you are generally not outraged by something that you have no knowledge of,” Rev. Arnold Culbreath of Protecting Black Life said.

Dr. Ergun Caner spoke to students about the fight that they would face as Christians in a secular world.

“True believers, stop bickering amongst ourselves, stop picking on each other, because all of Hell will march in its forces to stop you, to silence you and to squelch what the Holy Spirit wants (you) to do,” Caner said. “Do you really want awakening? Do you really want revival? The devil will not sleep when the church rises up.”

Students were able to view and participate in the rally not just at TRBC, but all over the country through a live streaming video.

“Thanks to Liberty, I had the privilege of watching it live online. It brought me to tears. Our country is in desperate need of a revival. I hope you attended,” Liberty online student Maria Cintron said.

“It was a blessing to see how much of an impact one can make on the world,” freshman Britmarie Hicks said.

For more information about the Freedom Federation and activities and events that it sponsors, visit Freedomfederation.org.

Contact Tiffany Edwards at

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