Evangelist runs for Governor of Alabama

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By Blenda Copeland

It’s his first time running for a political office, but Christian evangelist Scott Dawson is ready to run for Governor of Alabama.

Dawson, age 50, is a lifelong resident of Alabama and is from the Birmingham area. He stopped in Phenix City March 1 to speak to the Russell County Republican Club.

In an interview with The Citizen ahead of his speech, he defined himself as a leader with a vision for the future.

He said he’d be committed to moving conservative principles forward and helping communicate with the next generation. While he said he doesn’t “wear” his religion on his sleeve, he does not shy away from sharing that Jesus Christ has changed his life.

“I think through issues with a Biblical world view,” he said.

Dawson said if he is elected, he would like to encourage residents to be proud of Alabama. He referenced past high profile political scandals that have brought embarrassment to the state.

“Character does matter,” he said, saying that character is built over a lifetime.

Dawson said that he currently continues preaching as an employed evangelist through Scott Dawson Evangelical Association (SDEA) in Birmingham, which was established in 1987 according to the SDEA Web site. He is not a pastor of a particular church. He identifies himself as a Christian.

“I’m a follower of Jesus Christ,” he said. Upon further inquiry, he affiliates himself with the Southern Baptist denomination.

According to his campaign Web site, Dawson is a 1985 Ensley High School graduate. The site states he received his Master of Divinity degree in 1993 from Beeson Divinity School, an interdenominational evangelical theological seminary in Birmingham located on the campus of Baptist-affiliated Samford University. It also states he “was ordained in gospel ministry by order of Roebuck Park Baptist Church” and that Dawson has shared the gospel throughout the Southeast for the past 30 years. The Web site further notes Dawson’s involvement in mass youth ministry events that have allowed him “to present the Gospel to over a million people” — a ministry path reminiscent of the trail blazed by the late Rev. Billy Graham, who became known to many as “America’s Pastor” for his mass evangelism efforts in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Dawson and his wife Tarra have been married 26 years and have two grown children: a son, age 22; and a daughter, age 18.

According to his campaign Web site, Dawson is in favor of proposing term limits for the state legislature in the same manner that state executive offices and elected judges are term-limited. Regarding education, he’s in favor of abandoning Common Core standards and advocates for the mandatory drug testing for students participating in extracurricular activities. He believes in mentorship programs in education.

Dawson also believes in “defined, limited government.” Further, according to his campaign Web site, regarding prison overcrowding, he said, “We can build the largest prisons on earth and talk about consolidating resources, but if we don’t work to eradicate the source of our problems, those facilities will be overcrowded and deteriorated soon enough.

“I will propose increased partnerships with the faith-based community, non-profits, and vocational schools, and colleges to bring back structure to the daily lives of our prisoners, instructive educational, release and diversion programs for inmates and more effective treatment programs for drug offenders.”

More information about Dawson and his political views on other topics are covered on his campaign Web site, www.scottdawson.com.

Alabama’s primary elections are in June.