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A Faithful Founder and His Faithful God

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Tuesday, July 26, 2022 @ 09:23 AM A Faithful Founder and His Faithful God ATTENTION: Major social media outlets are finding ways to block the conservative/evangelical viewpoint. Click here for daily electronic delivery of The Stand's Daily Digest - the day's top blogs from AFA.

Rebecca Davis The Stand (Print) Associate Editor MORE

(Editor's Note: This article first appeared in the July 2022 print edition of The Stand)

“So how did this all come to be?” asked long-standing AFA board member Mike Murphree as he addressed the crowd that gathered for the grand opening of the new Don Wildmon Center for Cultural Transformation. “This all started because Don and Lynda Wildmon faithfully answered God’s call to a specific task … to educate this country as to the influences of its moral decline and what people could do about it.

“What a task this was,” Murphree continued. And still is. …

To continue carrying out this great task, AFA dedicated its new state-of-the-art, 20,000-square-foot facility to the Lord during a special ceremony on May 11. Former and current staff, special friends and ministry partners, local government officials, and the Wildmon family gathered together to celebrate God’s faithfulness to the ministry of AFA.

“Today is a special day,” said AFA president Tim Wildmon. “We’ll always remember it.

“I’m glad my dad was able to be here today,” he said about the 84-year-old AFA founder, affectionately known as Bro. Don.

“We were able to honor his legacy of faithfulness and the legacy of those who supported him in the early days of this ministry,” added Walker Wildmon, AFA vice president of operations and grandson of Bro. Don.

A foundation of faithfulness

Although the honor shown to Bro. Don during the grand opening was most appropriate and well-deserved, he has never been one to want the spotlight on himself. In fact, during the early years of AFA, he would often ask the Lord why the Lord wasn’t satisfied with him being just a normal preacher.

“You see, Bro. Don had a burden pressed on his soul that he couldn’t ignore,” explained Buddy Smith, senior vice president of AFA. “Don Wildmon rejected the temptation to make this important work about himself. … Rather, [he] made it about the Great Commission and the cultural commission found in God’s holy, infallible, and inerrant Word.”

“I was privileged to work in the shadow of Don Wildmon,” Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, told guests at the grand opening. “[But] let me just say, I don’t think Don ever has anybody in his shadow because he lets the light shine on them. … It’s about other people. And that’s really what American Family Association is about. … This is an organization that serves others.”

A future of faithfulness

“It really excites me to see the team that now occupies the Don Wildmon Center for Cultural Transformation represent another generation carrying out the vision of AFA,” Walker added.

“From the beginning, … the implicit goal of every project of AFA has been about faithfulness to the message, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Smith said.

Smith recalled a conversation he had decades ago with Bro. Don about the future of AFA. He was surprised that Bro. Don initiated the conversation since he was always so focused on the rigorous day-to-day mission of AFA.

Smith told Bro. Don: “I’ve always seen you as a day-to-day soldier of the cross, faithful to the end, hearing ‘well done’ from the Lord, and then it’s somebody else’s turn.”

To which Bro. Don tersely responded: “You’ve got it wrong! When my race is run, if AFA’s mission is not stronger the next day, I will consider everything I’ve done as a failure.”

Those words from years ago pressed deeply on Smith’s heart as he addressed the crowd and said, “Today’s grand opening of the Don Wildmon Center for Cultural Transformation shouts that our commitment to AFA’s vital mission is strong, and it’s growing even stronger by the day.”

“And it all started because of Bro. Don and Mrs. Lynda’s obedient faith in God,” Murphree said. “Their faithfulness is a gift that keeps giving.”

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