By: Michael Geer (President, Pennsylvania Family Institute)

Late last month, 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.

Congressman Palmer with Michael Geer and other directors for state policy organizations.

During that meeting, it was great to see my old friend Gary Palmer…now Congressman Gary Palmer.  We go way back.  Gary founded the Alabama Family Alliance (now the Alabama Policy Institute) in the early days of the family council movement (1989- the same year we opened Pennsylvania Family Institute). In 2014 he was elected to Congress, representing Alabama’s Sixth District.

During our time together in San Antonio, Congressman Palmer gave 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 in the infield with Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA) when multiple gunshots rang out.  Palmer yelled, “that’s gunfire” just as Scalise went down, and for a time was in grave danger himself. Palmer credited God’s mercy and the fast action of two special agents 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. IT is truly a harrowing story, and I’m thankful to God that Gary is okay.

Congressman Palmer with one of the special agents

Then, we got down to talking about our faith, public policy and the future of our nation.  That’s when I was freshly reminded just what an exceptional leader Gary Palmer is, and why I’m so excited that he’s our banquet speaker this year.

To quote my South Carolina colleague, Oran Smith, “For his brains, energy and passionate commitment to the Christian faith, Gary is a real poster guy for us.”  Truly, Gary Palmer is one of the finest Christian men I’ve ever met – a strategic thinker and man of action, who, despite his short tenure in Congress, is already making a seriously positive mark on that place. I wish there were more like him there.  We’d all be better off for it.

I hope you’ll join us for our 2017 Friends of the Family Banquet featuring Congressman Gary Palmer, and special guest, Blaine Adamson.  And, if you would, please take a moment today to pray for the safety of Congressman Gary Palmer of Alabama, and for all those who daily serve our country.