Seven-hundred-50 members of the Iowa Christian Coalition are expected in Des Moines tonight for the group’s annual “Friends of the Family” banquet. The Christian Coalition got its start in the 1980s — and rose to prominence by fueling Pat Robertson’s second-place finish in the 1988 Caucuses, ahead of then-Vice President George Bush. Steve Scheffler of the Iowa Christian Coalition says the Christian Coalition in Iowa has had its ups and downs, but in the past three years the group has become much more viable and is no longer just a “paper tiger.” Scheffler says over the past three years, the Coalition has been holding “house parties” in the state’s major cities. While it’s been a “small fundraising event,” Scheffler says it has helped sign up Christian Coalition volunteers around the state. The Christian Coalition’s voter guides were mailed out to volunteers around the state this week, and should be distributed in churches in mid-October. In addition, the group has launched a monthly “Amen” project.Scheffler says an “Amen” newsletter goes out once a month, urging Christian Coalition members to take action on a certain subject. This month’s mailing gave details about voter registration deadlines. Last month’s “Amen” newsletter encouraged Christian Coalition members to call their elected representatives in Washington and urge a “yes” vote on the bill which would ban gay marriage. A “Marriage Still Matters” rally will be held in Sioux City Sunday night. The keynote speaker will be James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family. Over 50 local pastors are sponsoring the event, which will be held at the Tyson Events Center. The Christian Coalition’s banquet will be held tonight in Des Moines at the Polk County Convention Complex, and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham will be the keynote speaker.
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