Conference 2015


This year’s conference will take place on Saturday, 26 September A.D. 2015 from  9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
There is no cost to attend. Morning snacks and a buffet lunch will be provided.
Space is limited.

Religious Liberty in 21st Century America

Event Agenda
8:30 a.m.—9:00 a.m. Check-In
9:00 a.m. Rev. Christopher I. Thoma, Our Savior, Hartland, MI — Responsive Prayer 1, Pledge of Allegiance, Opening Remarks
9:05 a.m. Rev. Dr. William Weinrich, Professor of Early Church History & Patristic Studies, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana
9:35 a.m. David Barton, Founder and President of Wallbuilders, Historian, Nationally Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host — Session I: America’s Christian Heritage
10:30 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. Michigan State Senator Patrick Colbeck, 7th District
11:15 a.m. Rev. Rafael Cruz, Conservative Political Speaker, Professor, Father of Presidential Candidate Senator Ted Cruz
11:45 a.m. Lunch
12:15 a.m. William Wagner, Attorney and Professor, President and Chairman of Salt and Light Global
12:45 p.m. David Barton — Session II: The Founders and the Documents: Original Intent
1:40 p.m. Break
1:55 p.m. Bob Dutko, Christian Apologist and Nationally Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host
2:25 p.m. Michigan State Representative Lee Chatfield,  107th District
3:00 p.m. Panel Discussion
3:50 p.m. Rev. Christopher I. Thoma, Our Savior, Hartland, MI — Closing Remarks, Responsive Prayer 2


Click here to register for the event:


Guest Biographies:

WeinrichRev. Dr. William C. Weinrich
Dr. William C. Weinrich is professor of Early Church History and Patristic Studies at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (1972), and received his Doctor of Theology degree from the University of Basel, Switzerland (1977).

He joined the seminary faculty in 1975, teaching History and New Testament and was Academic Dean 1996-2006. He served as Rector of the Luther Academy in Riga, Latvia, (2007-2010) where he taught extensively and oversaw the pastoral ministry program. He returned to the classroom at CTS in 2011and is currently writing the Concordia Commentary volume on the Gospel of John.
Dr. Weinrich served on the Commission on Theology and Church Relations (1992-2001); Doctrinal Review Commission (1992-1998); Third Vice President, LCMS (1998-2001); Fifth Vice President, LCMS (2001-2004). He also served 30 years in the Indiana Air National Guard, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2002.

DB-New-PhotoDavid Barton
David Barton is the Founder and President of WallBuilders, a national pro-family organization that presents America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on our moral, religious and constitutional heritage.

David is the author of numerous best-selling books, with the subjects being drawn largely from his own library of tens of thousands of original writings from the Founding Era. His exhaustive research has rendered him an expert in historical and constitutional issues and he serves as a consultant to state and federal legislators, has participated in several cases at the Supreme Court, was involved in the development of the History/Social Studies standards for states such as Texas and California, and has helped produce history textbooks now being used in U.S. schools.

A national news organization has described him as “America’s historian,” and he has received numerous national and international awards.

David and his wife Cheryl have three grown children, Damaris, Timothy, and Stephen, and they reside in Aledo, Texas.

Senator ColbeckMichigan Senator Patrick Colbeck
Patrick Colbeck is currently serving his second term in elected office as the State Senator for Michigan’s 7th District. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan with Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Aerospace Engineering as well as a graduate of the Life Sciences Department of the International Space University in Strasbourg, France. He has over 20 years of engineering and management experience in a variety of industries, including engineering responsibility for key elements of the Life Support System for the International Space Station, instruction of students at Space Camp, program management leadership for an advanced training and simulation system for the Department of Defense, and running his own small business.

Senator Colbeck currently serves as the vice-chair of the Elections and Government Reform Committee; and serves on the following Appropriations Subcommittees: State Police and Military Affairs; Education; Judiciary; Veterans, Military Affairs and Homeland Security.

The Senator is consistently rated as one of the most conservative senators in the Michigan legislature. During his tenure in the legislature, the Senator has demonstrated a persistent focus on solving problems for his constituents not playing politics. The Senator has received numerous recognitions for his efforts including the Senator Paul Fannin Statesman of the Year Award from National Right to Work for his leadership in making the nation’s 24th Right to Work state, the Golden Apple Award for his efforts to expand school choice for parents, and Legislator of the Year Awards from The Senior Alliance, the Police Officers Association of Michigan, and Associated Builders and Contractors. His staunch support of the military is highlighted by his role as co-founder and board member for the Freedom Center hospitality center at Detroit Metro Airport and the Lansing and Troy Military Entrance Processing Stations.

He lives with his wife, Angie, in Canton, Michigan.

Rafael CruzReverend Rafael Cruz
Rafael Cruz is a powerful example of the American Dream and an ambassador for Religious Liberty. Born in Cuba, Rafael lived and suffered under a cruel, oppressive dictator. He began fighting Batista’s regime as a teenager and was imprisoned and tortured for his role in that fight.

Rafael arrived in Texas on a student visa in 1957 with nothing but the clothes on his back and one hundred dollars sewn into his underwear. He got a job as a dishwasher, making 50 cents an hour, and worked his way through the University of Texas, while learning English. He later built a small business in further pursuit of the American Dream.

Concerned with the negative impact of national policies during the Carter administration in the late 70s, Rev. Cruz became engaged in conservative politics as a grassroots activist during the 1980 Presidential Campaign of Ronald Reagan.
When his son Ted was a child growing up in Houston, Rafael would tell him, “When we faced oppression in Cuba, I had a place to flee to. If we lose our freedom here, where do we go?”

In 2012, his son was elected U.S. Senator from Texas.

Today, Senator Cruz, a devout Christian man who speaks to the Biblical foundations of our nation, travels the country encouraging Christians to engage in order to return our nation to the principles that made America exceptional.

ldr-wwWilliam Wagner
Professor William Wagner currently holds a tenured law school professorship. A frequent speaker at world conferences, William has a special interest in the protection of free expression and constitutional good governance under the rule of law. His writing is published in a number of articles, books and other publications, including a national best seller. As lead amicus counsel on a variety of matters before the U.S. Supreme Court, he authored briefs on behalf of various organizations. He also authored written testimony, evidence, and briefs in such forums as the Swedish Supreme Court, the U.S. Congress, and the U.K. Parliament. He has further addressed many executive, legislative, parliamentary, and judicial audiences throughout the world, and presented at various diplomatic forums including the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

William previously served in the U.S. Courts as a federal judge. Prior to his appointment on the federal bench, he served as a legal advisor and the chief American diplomat for the Department of Justice at an American Embassy in Africa. William also served as a senior U.S. prosecutor, litigating hundreds of federal cases and serving as chief of appellate litigation for the Office of the U.S. Attorney. Prior to serving in the Justice Department, William served as legal counsel in the U.S. Senate.

William received the post-doctoral Danforth Fellowship in Law after earning his J.D. in 1986. He is a winner of the Stanley E. Beattie Teaching Award, given to the professor making the greatest contribution to the legal education of law students. He has served on the executive governing boards of a number of international and national ministries and non-profit corporations. William married his bride, Marilyn, over twenty-five years ago and together they home schooled their children

dutkoBob Dutko
Mr. Dutko is a Christian Apologist and a leading public voice today in defense of Christianity. Bob hosts the nationally syndicated talk show “Defending the Truth with Bob Dutko”, heard on radio stations nationwide. In addition, he hosts “The Bob Dutko Show”, Detroit’s #1 Christian Talk Radio Show, heard daily from Noon—4:00 PM on 103.5 FM – WMUZ. Bob is also the former National Press Secretary for Christian Coalition of America.

Bob has engaged in countless debates with the ACLU, national atheist groups, evolutionary scientists, Planned Parenthood, Muslim Scholars, homosexual groups, New Age experts, cult leaders and more. He has been quoted in newspapers throughout the country and appeared on various news, radio and television programs such as Inside Edition.

His Detroit based show, “The Bob Dutko Show” is Michigan’s most listened to Christian radio show and syndicated on several stations nationwide. It can also be heard via live web streaming at His nationally syndicated apologetics talk show, “Defending the Truth” also airs on radio stations across the country making Bob one of the most listened to Christian Talk Show Hosts in America. In addition, he is the creator of the popular Christian Apologetics series “Top Ten Proofs.”

CHATFILED_DSC0788_CCMichigan Representative Lee Chatfield
State Rep. Lee Chatfield was first elected to serve the 107th District in the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2014. The 107th District encompasses Chippewa, Emmetand Mackinac counties, and in Cheboygan County: Koehler, Tuscarora, Beaugrand, Hebron, Mackinaw and Munro townships and the city of Cheboygan.
Chatfield chairs the Local Government committee. He is also a member of the House Committees on Education, Health Policy and Tax Policy.

Lee earned his Bachelor of Science degree in History Education from Northland International University. He earned a Master of Arts degree in Public Policy from Liberty University.

Lee served as a full-time high school teacher, coach and athletic director at his alma mater, Northern Michigan Christian Academy in Burt Lake.

Lee and his family are active members in their local church and he serves his community in various ways. He is a member of Right to Life of Michigan, National Rifle Association, Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners and Michigan Farm Bureau. Lee has coached several community teams and hosts summer sports camps for his high school and local athletic associations.
Lee was born and raised in Northern Michigan and is a high school graduate of Northern Michigan Christian Academy. He married his high school sweetheart Stephanie in 2008 and they live in Levering with their four children—three sons and a daughter.