Members in Action Michigan Update


April 14, 2016

Members in Action:
Michigan Update

By Mark Gurley


Recently, our entire Oak chapter and other members from the Michigan Oak Initiative embarked on a strategy to awaken our state’s GOP Convention that was held on April 8-9, 2016. The current RNC Committeeman, Dave Agema, is a member of The Oak and is winding down his current term, which will finish at the close of the RNC Convention in Cleveland this July. 

Dave and I returned from a meeting three weeks ago at the Michigan Capitol House of Prayer where we met with pastoral leaders from the Detroit side of the state. Dave lamented that there was only one candidate in the race, making it a coronation not an election. The man running is a Christian and a Conservative, but there was concern he might not stick to those principles as he has courted Establishment influence and resources in the last few months of his campaign. The Establishment hated how Dave Agema has taken a stand against homosexual marriage and radical Islam, even though the “Party” platform was in agreement with his positions. He asked me to run, even though the election was only seventeen days away.

I announced that I would run for the spot, and our entire team kicked in to volunteer, create buttons, set up table displays, make phone calls, and other general campaign organization. Everyone simply took initiative and often paid for what they were doing from their own pocket. My son, Zechariah, spent sixteen hours editing a campaign video to be shown during my nomination speeches on Saturday. Despite seventeen days of overtime, I still managed to run my business and took three of those seventeen days to travel to other states on business. 


The message is more important than the campaign:

Prayer and listening was critical to figuring out what to actually say and do. We settled on the pine tree from the “An Appeal to Heaven” flag as the logo for the campaign. That unknowingly created our platform as delegates from around the state began asking what the pine tree represented. We told the story of “An Appeal to Heaven” as well as the drafting of the Emancipation Proclamation by our Party’s first president. 

There are fourteen District Caucuses in Michigan, and it is challenging to get into all of them on Friday night while delegates are elected to go to the Convention in Cleveland. Strategists tell you to have insiders’ text you when to arrive to improve your chance of speaking. We had none of that. By God’s grace we made it into all fourteen districts. My team that went room to room started with five people and dwindled to three. Kamal Saleem and Darwin Jiles, the MI GOP Ethnic Chair, cheered me on. When was the last time you saw someone of Arab descent, a black man, and a white man represent the Republican Party? We had applause in every district, but had standing ovations in about half of them—all that from a two minute speech and the anointing. 

The message to stand firm on the core values caused this powerful response. The Republican platform’s core principles were added by unanimous vote in 2012 by RNC Committeeman Dave Agema shortly after he was elected. They are listed below.

I will fight to protect the following principles in our Republican platform, which states that we believe:

  • That our rights come from God
  • In the sanctity of life
  • In the right to bear arms
  • In legal, not illegal, immigration (invasion)
  • In traditional marriage between one man and one woman

Political Correctness is trying to water down our values. 

Those who stand for nothing will fall for anything.

Please see my campaign video here and determine to “Do Something.”



Mark Gurley
Co-Director of the Michigan Oak Initiative


Below is a note from my campaign manager, David Wells, who is also part of our local Oak Chapter:

My experiences with the Oak Initiative over the last year have been amazing. Coming from the Tea-vangelical movement (the base of the Tea Party is evangelical in nature), I was becoming distressed with the attempts to co-opt conservatism and the Republican Party with a "Fiscal Only—Faith Opposed" agenda. Partnering with Mark Gurley and Rick Warzywak has opened the door to refocusing our efforts in Michigan in a way that puts God first and awakens the Christian voters who have sat out many recent elections. Mark's campaign for the RNC Committeeman opened the door for thousands of Michigan delegates and activists to be exposed to the mixing of the moral values, founding principles, and awakening we need to initiate lasting change. Thousands of people were exposed to the Founder's history in the form of the pine tree and the "Washington's Cruisers" Flag (" An Appeal To Heaven"). In two short weeks, Mark challenged the status quo agenda to rewrite the Republican platform as a secular leaning document, and put the MIGOP and the RNC on notice that the "Watchmen on the Wall" will be monitoring the gatekeepers. We challenged, engaged, educated, and even fed our adversaries in their own arena. Our adversaries gathered their massive force to intimidate and belittle. Their goal was to instill fear and awe, but instead they exposed their own fear and insecurities, their alliances, and their major weakness, which is to appease multiple factions rather than stand for core principles. Mark received just over 30% of the vote. Although he lost the battle, like the Founders, we will win the war! 

The one thing that keeps me motivated in the political realm is the truly good and honest friends I have made that joined together from God's kingdom.The forces of Goliath can amass their vast armies and mock and ridicule God's laws, but the Marks, Davids, and countless other unnamed warriors behind the scenes will not be deterred.


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Mark Gurley is a financial advisor who has been in the insurance and investment business since 1988. He obtained his Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) from the American College in Bryn Mawr, PA and has a degree in Business Administration from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI.

Mark was a founder and director of the Healing Rooms of Grand Rapids from 2002-2009. Mark is a charter member of The Oak Initiative and the Michigan Oak Branch State Director. He served on the board of Transformation Michigan from 2007-2011 and remains on the board of the Michigan Capitol House of Prayer (MICHOP). He is the great-great grandson of Dr. Phineas Gurley, President Abraham Lincoln’s pastor. He has been a frequent teacher and speaker and was ordained in 2002. Mark and his wife Michele have two children whom they home school.

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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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