Inside the Conservatives of Faith Conference in Texas

Pressler Ranch in Brenham, TX

Saturday afternoon, I wrapped up what has been one of the most energetic, fast-paced, hopeful and fulfilling weekends I can remember. It was spent at the “Conservatives of Faith” gathering in Brenham, Texas at the ranch of retired Judge Paul and Nancy Pressler. It was my honor and pleasure to meet and renew friendships with so many conservative Christian leaders from across our great nation.

Out of that weekend came a strong consensus among evangelicals behind the presidential candidacy of Rick Santorum. Though all candidates had their strengths and weaknesses, Santorum’s sincerity and consistent commitment to major conservative values stood out for most attendees from all the rest.

Though Mitt Romney has his supporters among conservatives and evangelicals, the overwhelming majority of Christian conservatives have been decidedly unenthusiastic about Romney’s support for government health care in his state, the counterfeiting of marriage that began in Massachusetts under his watch, his previous support for abortion, and other liberal positions.

Ted Cruz 2016


While Romney has enjoyed unwavering support for a long time from liberals within and without the Republican Party, support for more conservative candidates has been divided among Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Ron Paul. A vote split five ways or more has kept more conservative candidates from truly standing out…but it has also seen Romney’s support rise no higher than about 25-30% according to most results.

The momentum of poll numbers and primary/caucus results counts for a lot and many conservatives have been growing very concerned that Mitt Romney, one of the most liberal GOP candidates in this year’s primary, could end up securing the nomination with only a weak, tepid plurality. This would not bode well at all for Republican chances to regain control of the White House and return our nation to health and vitality.

About 168 conservative Christian leaders across America agreed to meet this weekend in Texas to examine the GOP candidates to see if consensus could be reached on one single candidate, to help give that candidate the momentum necessary to break out and secure not only the GOP nomination, but the White House itself next November.

Most of what was discussed Friday night and Saturday morning is off the record and confidential; it needed to be so that everyone could speak with complete candor. Therefore I can’t and won’t say anything beyond what the gathering’s chosen spokesman, FRC’s Tony Perkins, said to representatives of the media Saturday: that after much prayer, discussion and balloting, while Perry, Santorum and Gingrich all had significant support, consensus emerged behind Rick Santorum to the tune of approx. 75%.

But I think it is important for everyone who is concerned for America’s future (whether an evangelical or not) to know of the level of sincerity and commitment which was packed into that ranch house—especially since things have a way of getting twisted to support ulterior motives and spin in the media.

Though virtually all the candidates had their supporters in the crowd, and most had surrogates giving presentations in favor of their candidates, one conviction permeated the room: America is in desperate trouble morally as well as fiscally, and we must have a new captain of our “ship of state” if we are to avoid the looming rocks. There was complete and absolute agreement that the course of big government socialism, uncontrolled spending, and moral decay is taking our great nation rapidly and perhaps irreversibly to its demise.

Finally, there was unshaken resolve among all present to do everything within their ability to see our country return to the values that made it great in the first place. Most of all, there was unanimous agreement that God still cares about America and Americans, and still wants to bless us if only we’ll let him.

How this election may turn out in November, no one knows. How the GOP primary may turn out is still anyone’s guess. Whether this weekend’s efforts and outcome will make a difference with supporters of the ministries these leaders head and perhaps other Americans as well, no one cannot say.

But at least 168-ish of America’s most sincere and passionate Christian leaders can say that they have come together to prayerfully put aside their own wants in a humble effort to seek what is best for our nation.

In the end, that is all anyone can do. That is all our founding fathers did some 236 years ago. They came together, seeking God’s face and representing the people whose lives they most closely touched, tried to empty themselves of themselves, and sought the blessings of Divine Providence for what they had agreed upon.

I believe that is an accurate description of what happened in Brenham, Texas this weekend.

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Bob Ellis has been the owner of media company Dakota Voice, LLC since 2005. He is a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran, a political reporter and commentator for the past decade, and has been involved in numerous election and public policy campaigns for over 20 years. He was a founding member and board member of the Tea Party groups Citizens for Liberty and the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and two children.
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  • Anonymous

    Wow, Bob.  I’m glad to know you were there.

    • Bob Ellis

      It was great to be there. It’s a shame that since then, some seem to be more interested in pursuing their own agenda than in accomplishing something useful as a group, but sadly you’ll always have a few like that.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, this fallen world can surely be a bummer, but it’s the best thing to know that it’s not forever. One fine Day the Lord will be back to set things right. Until then, we will fight to the last man for the Truth.

        You’re doing all the good, Bob!