Members in Action: An Introduction

April 14, 2016

Members in Action:
An Introduction
By Bill NeSmith


At “The Oak,” an organization with the word “Initiative” in its name, we are never surprised to hear what our members are engaged in all over the world. Actually, we are not only hearing of activities, but also about the very existence of groups that have started and have been operating with great success. People are simply showing the initiative to collect, form a strategy, and act to make an impact—many with great success.

In Michigan we have Mark Gurley, the Co-Director of the Michigan Oak Initiative, who had what could be called an “Esther moment” as he was asked to run for RNC Committeeman even though there were just seventeen days before the election. He and the local Oak chapter members did a great job and have undoubtedly gained much traction for any future political endeavors in their region. His story continues here.  Michigan has a number of Oak chapters and is making great progress around the state.

In North and South Carolina, the Fort Mill, S.C. chapter serves both North and South Carolina. Their leaders and members developed a working relationship with local Republican Party leadership that led them being asked to assist in arranging a campaign stop for both Dr. Ben Carson and Sen. Ted Cruz at Heritage International Ministries. This chapter has had members run for school board and city council positions as well as engage in local concerns in both North and South Carolina. One recent project for them was to educate people on the issues surrounding the Charlotte City Council’s “bathroom bill” that promoted gender-neutral facilities in the city. Due to the efforts of many concerned people in the state, Gov. Pat McCrory signed a counter-measure into law until a solution can be found that protects the freedoms of all who live and visit Charlotte.

This group was also invited to the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C. recently to explain their work in the state and was favorably received by the Speaker and the full chamber. They regularly take part in local city council and school board meetings to keep local residents informed of the issues and to help lawmakers see from a biblical perspective.

In Arizona, local members have to created two very useful documents for chapters to use.

  1. The Oak Initiative: Informational Orientation—A clear introductory presentation for perspective members explaining the Oak Initiative and how a local Oak group can become equipped to meet the local vision.
  2. High Impact Workbook—A broad project management formation to use for both large and small projects to ensure goals are met and accomplishments are in line with original intent.

In Florida, Texas, and many other states and countries, Oak members have hosted a number of events to develop awareness, promote membership, and coordinate activities. We have Group Starter Kits with posters, brochures, and business cards to hand out as well as other materials and equipping conference calls that can help you get started. 

We are going to start posting regular updates from our members detailing their activities, so send us yours and we may distribute them to give others ideas on what may be possible in their communities. If you have started a group, let us know by sending us an update. We will then be able to tell others about you so that the word gets out.

Some of our members meet in churches, libraries, local restaurants, and homes. Can you host an initial meeting? Not necessarily able to lead a group, but are you willing to help get one started and select a leadership team to take it forward? Let us know. We can help. Draft an email introducing yourself and your interest and willingness to form a group and we will forward it out to members and friends in your area—this very often becomes the start of a local group that develops into a thriving chapter.

We are growing and people like you are making a difference. Will you start today? Like Mark Gurley, you may just have yourself an “Esther moment” because you were in the right place, doing the right thing, at the right time to be promoted to your next assignment. You never know what you can accomplish when God is in the mix. 

We look forward to speaking with you. Please call me at The Oak offices at 803-547-8217 or write to today. 


Click Here for Articles from Members in Action


Bill NeSmith is a founding member and the Administrator of The Oak Initiative. He is also co-Founder, along with his wife Chris, of HarvestLight Ministries and has pastored and planted churches for over 28 years. Bill is Sr. leader of Harvest Light Fellowship Church in Savannah. Bill and his wife, Chris, have 5 children and 12 grandchildren.


 If you would like information on gathering with other Oak Initiative members in your area,
please email us at


Note the flag at the top of the mast that reads, "Appeal to Heaven."  This was our first national flag, and yet now prayer is banned in most public places.



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