Candidate for state office shows his preacher side

Posted: October 18, 2013

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — Republican lieutenant governor candidate E.W. Jackson delivered a rousing sermon during a visit to an ecumenical worship service in the city Thursday night.

Jackson, a non-denominational minister, is facing pediatric neurologist Sen. Ralph Northam, D-Painter, on Nov. 5.

He electrified the scores of people who gathered at the Impact Christian Center, 134 N. Loudoun St., for a unity worship service sponsored by the Fellowship of Churches in Jesus Christ.

The fellowship is made up ministers from several area churches.

Jackson shared his personal story of salvation, which came when he was a Harvard Law School student in 1976.

“I got saved 37 years ago, but I’m still excited about a barefoot carpenter from Galilee, and if you’re in sin, he will set you free,” he said.

Jackson’s powerful, poetic oration stirred the audience, which reacted with fervor.

“Our ancestors may have come on different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now,” he said. “I don’t believe ... the assembly of those brilliant, inspired men in 1776, that it was just an accident of human history.”

God has called the U.S. to greatness, according to Jackson, and “it’s up to us” to be the ultimate stewards of that opportunity. He said power abhors a vacuum.

“And, you better believe that other powers will move in,” he said.

Jackson has been criticized throughout his campaign for his ultra-conservative views on homosexuality, abortion rights and even yoga.

“The level of hostility in mainstream culture and in the media against Christianity is about as bad as I ever believed it could be, and it’s getting worse day by day,” he said. “The press talks about me like a dog. There are people right now in Virginia, their lives are dedicated to bringing me down, but you know what, they can’t do it.”

Only Christians can be bashed with impunity, Jackson said. He spoke of being called to task for something he said in his day job — preaching.

“I guess I said the thing that’s absolutely unallowable in public discourse, and what I said was Jesus is the only way of salvation,” Jackson explained. “I’m a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What do you expect me to say? I owe my first loyalty to him.”

The Bible is the truth, he said.

“And, it’s the final arbiter of all matters of faith, and morality, and practice,” Jackson said. “We have got to admit that God is right no matter what.”

Some don’t like what the Bible has to say on the definition of family and of homosexuality, he said. Jackson said the Bible teaches people to love one another.

“Jesus is the answer for the world today,” he said.

Jackson said he was in Winchester Thursday as a gospel preacher. The lieutenant governor’s job isn’t to preach, he said.

“Most of the Founding Fathers were indeed Christians,” Jackson said. “They quoted the Bible more than any other book. I think I’m standing on pretty good ground.”

Fellowship of Churches in Jesus Christ Chairman the Rev. Bobby T. Hudnall asked for prayers for Jackson.

“This man, for whatever reason, God has called to him to do a work that maybe some of us feel like we ought not to mix,” Hudnall said. “But, we need men of God in high places.”

Brenda Stottlemyer came to the service with her son, Joshua.

“I believe this country does need more Christians standing up for what we believe,” she said.

Dennis Cabbagestalk also enjoyed Jackson’s appearance.

“It edified my soul and my heart, and it gave me more encouragement than what I already have in the Lord, Jesus Christ,” he said.

— Contact Sally Voth atsvoth@winchesterstar.com