For his brains, energy and passionate commitment to the Christian faith, Gary Palmer is a real poster guy for the family council movement.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the annual meeting of the State Policy Network (SPN), a gathering of conservative public policy leaders from around the country. On the docket were issues close to our hearts here at Palmetto Family, including a Religious Liberty in the States report from our allies at The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and the release of the Family Prosperity Index measuring the strength and prosperity of families on a state by state basis.

During that meeting in San Antonio, it was great to see my old friend Gary Palmer…now Congressman Gary Palmer. Gary Palmer served as adviser and mentor during my first years at Palmetto Family and got me started off well here. It was also Gary, along with SC Senator Chip Campsen, who proposed the founding of what is now Palmetto Promise Institute.

For his brains, energy and passionate commitment to the Christian faith, Gary is a real poster guy for us. He founded the Alabama Family Alliance in the early days of the family council movement (1989), expanded and rebranded it to the Alabama Policy Institute, and in 2014 was elected to Congress representing Alabama’s Sixth District.

During our time together in San Antonio, Congressman Palmer gave the family policy leaders a special eyewitness account of the horrible shooting back in June that took place during the Republican team practice for the Congressional baseball game. Palmer was right there with Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA) when he was injured and for a time was in grave danger himself. Palmer credited God’s mercy and the fast action of law enforcement for there being no loss of life. As for his own injuries, the Congressman told us that for a time he had a marked limp from the pulled muscle he experienced escaping the shooting zone.

US Rep. Gary Palmer of Alabama counts a number of South Carolina Members of Congress as his closest friends, including Trey Gowdy, Jeff Duncan, Joe Wilson and Mark Sanford. Pictured here is Palmer with South Carolina Congressmen Wilson and Sanford watching the College Football National Championship game back in January. Palmer, a former Alabama wide receiver under Paul “Bear” Bryant, left disappointed when his Tide fell to the Clemson Tigers.

Please take a moment today to pray for the safety of Congressman Gary Palmer of Alabama, the South Carolina Congressional delegation, and for the continued recovery of Congressman Steve Scalise.

Dr. Oran Smith

Dr. Oran Smith

President & CEO

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