District Convention

District Convention


The FAMiLY LEADER is very serious in its pursuit as a non-partisan organization working to further the mission of Jesus Christ in the political arena.  That is why we have sent out surveys to both political parties, invited both parties to our forums, and work at the Iowa Capitol with any representative or senator who is willing to further righteous legislation.  Our compass is the Bible, not our own knowledge. 

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  Matthew 6:33.

So, what is our combined mission with Christ?  To share the gospel of reconciliation, so that all men can be saved.

We truly believe that God wants all men to be saved, and at the foot of the Cross there is no Jew or Gentile, Republican or Democrat, black or white, gay or straight, male or female.  All are equal at the foot of the Cross. Every man has sinned and deserves eternal separation from God, meaning we all need a Savior, who is Jesus Christ.  God has called us to cast forth this message into every area of the culture, including the civic arena.  At The FAMiLY LEADER, we view ourselves as missionaries, and our mission is to bring the Gospel to those in our government.

On April 26th, many of you will be engaging in this arena as well when you go to your district convention.  A lot of important decisions will be made at these conventions, including who is going to govern the political parties.  We encourage you to select godly men and women to represent you in those roles.   Please select men and women who fear the Lord above all things and are completely surrendered to Him — men and women who have a solid biblical worldview and relationship with Christ that will help them make the correct decisions, and men and women who have an eternal perspective who will work to share the Gospel and win souls to Christ.  In the end, people’s salvations matter most, and that is why we are here.

Some of the candidates who are choosing to run for State Central Committee for the Republican Party of Iowa The FAMiLY LEADER knows very well.  If you are attending one of these district conventions, we encourage you to support them.  We know them to be excellent servants of Christ, who have a heart for the lost, who boldly stand for righteous issues such as life and marriage, and operate with high character and integrity.

District 1:

Brad Sherman: Brad is pastor of Solid Rock Christian Church. He is one of the leading pastors in this state when it comes to civics, and is one of the most sought after endorsements for presidential candidates.  Brad is not only pro-life, but leads Informed Choices Medical Clinic, a clinic that has saved thousands of children’s lives.  Brad is a strong advocate for natural marriage, and has championed a petition that received hundreds of pastors’ signatures and was delivered to Governor Culver.  Pastor Sherman is both a visionary and a doer.  He has been an active long-time member of TFL’s pastors’ network and worked with Pastor Cranston to bring more pastors to the Iowa Capitol.  District 1 would be very blessed to have Pastor Sherman as its representative.

District 2:

Brad Cranston: He is pastor of Heritage Baptist in Burlington.  There is so much we can say about Pastor Cranston.  He has been an inspiration to us at The FAMiLY LEADER and to many pastors across the state of Iowa.  Because of Pastor Cranston’s leadership, over 200 pastors have visited the Iowa Capitol this year.  Brad has faithfully been traveling to the Iowa Capitol every week with TFL for several years now.  He has not only engaged his entire denomination, but also has engaged hundreds of other pastors from multiple denominations across this state.  He most certainly would bring a lot of wisdom and a different perspective to the state central committee.

Mark Doland: Mark is a pastor in Oskaloosa and currently serves on the state central committee.  He has been involved with The FAMiLY LEADER’s grassroots network as well as a pioneer in our pastors’ network.  Mark is a leader in the city of Oskaloosa and recently won an election to serve as County Supervisor against a well-financed former Democrat senator.  That senator was one of the main opponents to the Iowa Marriage Amendment, and kept it from ever passing the Iowa Senate.  Mark is a hard worker and will continue to serve on the Central Committee well.

District 3:

Bill Gustoff:  TFL has worked with Bill on many school choice issues at the Capitol.  He volunteers his time as a lobbyist for NICHE, a Christian home school organization.  TFL has worked very closely with Bill, other school choice organizations, and the House Republicans to get strong school choice language on the Governor’s education bill.  Because of Bill’s and others’ leadership, home school and private school families now have freedom from the Department of Education.

Heather Stancil: Heather has been a grassroots activist with TFL for many years.  She has been a strong spokesperson for us in Madison County and a strong voice in the Iowa Legislature against Common Core.  Heather is a talented writer and is well known for her thought-provoking op-eds.  Her stamina, writing skills, and boldness make her well fitted for the position she is pursuing.

Mike Demastus: Mike is pastor of Fort Des Moines Church of Christ.  He is also an active member of our pastors’ network.  He has actively lobbied with us at the Iowa Capitol and has attended many of our events and rallies.  As a pastor, Mike has stood in the gap for truth and has not backed down even when he was persecuted by local media.  Mike is a bold spirit that will serve our state well.

District 4:

John Wacker: TFL has a strong history with John Wacker and we are thrilled he has chosen to run for this position.  John is one of the leading activists in the state of Iowa.  He was a principal player in both the 2010 and 2012 judicial retention races.  John is passionate about the marriage issue and will not give up.  Perseverance is one of the best words to describe John.  He has worked on countless state house and senate campaigns and his grassroots expertise would be an excellent addition to the state central committee.

Gabe Haugland: Gabe is an active member of the grassroots efforts at The FAMiLY LEADER.  He hosted one of our stops on TFL’s 2013 statewide tour.  We admire Gabe’s humility, loyalty, and service not only to our country, but also to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Gabe is a rising star in the Republican Party and conservative movement.  So much so we encouraged him to run for state Senate.  The timing was not right for a Senate run at this point in his life, which we respect, but God has called him to run for this position. We know Gabe to be a man of character and that he will serve well in this position.

As many of you know, Danny Carroll, who has served with TFL, currently serves as the chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa.  Danny’s term lasts until January of 2015.  Danny has done a terrific job being a witness in his new position and would appreciate delegates sending him more partners in the Gospel.  These recommendations are for people who would be excellent partners for Danny.

Also, when attending district conventions, be sure that the party platform continues to take bold stances for life, marriage, religious liberty, support for Israel, school choice, anti-gambling, and other pro-family values.  We have a list of platform planks we recommended at the caucus level on our website that are an excellent reference as to how to best word the party platform.

Thank you for being a light in your community!  We continue to pray that our culture will be reached and will remain faithful to what our Lord Jesus commanded us to do when He ascended into Heaven – proclaim the Gospel!

For Him!

Bob Vander Plaats, President and CEO

Chuck Hurley, Vice President and Chief Counsel

Greg Baker, Political Director