On Sunday November 6, Christ Presbyterian Church hosted a candid discussion with Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (R), former Obama White House and campaign staffer Michael Wear, and CPC Senior Pastor Scott Sauls. Emmy-winning journalist and WKRN co-anchor Samantha Fisher moderated the panel.

Listen to the Election Week Politics forum here.

 

Press Coverage Tennessean: Gov. Bill Haslam discusses politics and Christianity WKRN: Gov. Haslam joins panel to discuss politics, faith


Moderator

SamHeadshotSamantha Fisher is an Emmy-award winning journalist and anchors the 5 and 10 o’clock evening news on WKRN News 2 alongside Eric Egan. Ms. Fisher came to Nashville from Washington, DC where she was a correspondent for CNN covering national politics with an emphasis on the 2008 Presidential Election. She was part of the team earning   the prestigious Peabody Award for Presidential Primary Campaigns and Debates. Ms. Fisher has also reported in Salt Lake City, Utah and Augusta, Georgia. She is a Marietta, Georgia native and graduated from the University of Georgia in 2000 majoring in Broadcast News. She is married to violinist Daniel Fisher. They have two little girls, Penelope and Tess.[spacer height="20px"]

Panelists

billheadshotBorn and raised in Knoxville, Governor Bill Haslam was blessed with parents who instilled their strong faith and work ethic in their children. As a young man he excelled in academics and sports and was a leader in student government. In 2003 Bill ran successfully for mayor of Knoxville and was re-elected in 2007 with 87 percent of the vote. In 2010 Bill became the governor of Tennessee, and in 2014 he secured the largest re-election victory in modern Tennessee history. Under Governor Haslam's leadership, Tennessee is recognized as a national leader in education, job creation, and fiscal responsibility. Working with the General Assembly, he has balanced the budget every year, kept taxes low, ensured Tennessee has the lowest debt in the country, and nearly doubled the state's savings account. He and his wife Crissy have been married for 34 years and are blessed with three children and four grandchildren. [spacer height="20px"]

WearHeadshotMichael Wear is the founder of Public Square Strategies LLC, and a leading expert and strategist at the
intersection of faith, politics, and American public life. As one of President Obama's "ambassadors to America's believers" (Buzzfeed), Michael directed faith outreach for President Obama’s historic 2012 re-election campaign. One of the youngest White House staffers in modern American history, he served in the White House faith-based initiative during President Obama’s first term, where he led evangelical outreach and helped manage The White House’s engagement on religious and values issues, including adoption and anti-human trafficking efforts. Today, Public Square Strategies LLC is a sought-after firm that helps religious organizations, political organizations, businesses, and others effectively navigate the rapidly changing American religious and political landscape. Michael is the author of the forthcoming book Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House About the Future of Faith in America. He also writes for The Atlantic, Christianity Today, USA Today, Relevant Magazine, and other publications on faith, politics, and culture. He serves on the national board of Bethany Christian Services, the nation's largest adoption agency. Michael and his wife, Melissa, are both proud natives of Buffalo, New York. They now reside in Washington, D.C.[spacer height="20px"]
 
scottheadshotScott Sauls serves as senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church, a multi-site church in Nashville, Tennessee. Scott has been married to Patti for twenty years, and is Dad to Abby and Ellie. Prior to Nashville, Scott was a lead and preaching pastor at New York City’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church, planted churches in Kansas City and St. Louis, and taught homiletics (preaching) at Covenant Theological Seminary. Formative experiences have included being an athlete, living in a global city, and suffering through a season of anxiety and depression. A self-described “accidental author,” Scott has released two books: Jesus Outside the Lines: A Way Forward for Those Who Are Tired of Taking Sides and BeFriend: Create Belonging in an Age of Judgment, Isolation and Fear. Scott also writes weekly on his blog at scottsauls.com.