On Saturday evening, Fox News Commentator Todd Starnes hosted the second annual Faith and Freedom Celebration with guest speaker and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee at Truett McConnell University (TMU).

Huckabee is the author of several best-selling books, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, public speaker, and a political commentator on “The Huckabee Report.” Huckabee ran for the Republican nomination in the 2008 and 2016 presidential elections and eventually became a supporter of President Donald Trump. His daughter, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, currently serves as White House Press Secretary.

The evening began with special music by the TMU chorale and wind ensemble followed by gospel artist Jacob “Jake” Cowley who began the evening with a selection of patriotic songs during the presentation of the colors.

“It is a blessing to be on the Truett McConnell University campus,” said Starnes who was the master of ceremonies throughout the evening. “I’m just so excited for you to hear from Governor Huckabee who is a dear friend of mine and a great man of God.”

Huckabee received a warm welcome as Starnes introduced the keynote speaker. The former governor, relating to the celebration’s title, spoke of our country’s freedom and the right we have as Americans to serve the one true God. “We are free because we have faith in God!”

Throughout the evening, Huckabee delivered a stout message that focused on family, God, faith, and religious liberty to a crowd of over 1,200 in attendance.

“Do you know what I love about Truett McConnell?” said Huckabee. “Your campus has said, ‘We stick with the Bible, we stick with God’s truth, we do not simply go to every trend, and we are not tuning the curriculum and the programming of this university to what people think by some contemporary standard. We are tuning ourselves to the Word of God.’”

Empower the Call

The university opened the doors to state representatives, law enforcement officials, military and ROTC members, local businessmen and women, members of the community, faculty, staff, and students for the event. The event is held annually to raise funds for the Empower the Call campaign in an effort to continue our mission of equipping Truett McConnell students and alumni.

One hundred percent of all proceeds from the Faith and Freedom Celebration goes directly to the Empower the Call campaign which will: reduce student debt for TMU alumni who are active missionaries; provide financial assistance so that more current students can participate in mission trips; and retain more students by providing scholarship assistance to students with financial needs, who may not otherwise return to TMU.

“I hope your generosity overcomes you tonight because you’ll want to be a part of helping this wonderful Christian university as they continue to stand for the Lord, teach the word of God to these students, and send them out to change the world as people who are unapologetically committed to stand up for the Word of God,” said Huckabee.

Huckabee ended with a challenge to the audience to continue to stand up for religious freedom. “Would you be the someone? Would you do the something to save this great country?”

TMU President, Dr. Emir Caner concluded the evening by saying, “We need to raise a generation that loves Jesus, thanks God for our country, and takes a stand for the freedoms we have. That’s the heartbeat of Truett McConnell University.”

To contribute to the Empower the Call fund, text EMPOWER to 706-222-1961 or by visiting the online donation page: www.truett.edu/empowerthecall.


Jenny Gregory is the Digital Content Specialist for Marketing and Communications at TMU.

photo/Jenny Gregory

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