Favorite

A Democrat at Fellowship Bible 

Mark Pryor grew up with mainline religion, the Presbyterianism of his father, David Pryor. But like many of his generation, Mark and his family worship at one of the new, non-denominational churches, conservative in theology and politics, that have arisen across America in recent years. In Mark's case, it's Fellowship Bible Church, a large congregation in west Little Rock. A fellow worshipper is state Rep. Jeremy Hutchinson, a conservative Republican and son of the man Pryor's running against.

In February, when Attorney General Pryor testified for a "hate crimes" bill before the House Judiciary Committee, Representative Hutchinson, a member of the Committee, suggested that Pryor's testimony for a bill to punish persecution of homosexuals, among others, might not conform with the beliefs of Fellowship Bible. Pryor didn't agree.

Pryor is accustomed to people asking what a moderate Democrat is doing at Fellowship Bible. "Most people would consider Fellowship a Religious Right church," he said, "and some of the members are very active in politics. But the church by and large does a good job of remaining neutral in politics. You seldom hear political rhetoric from the pulpit. The last couple of years, the church has put a lot of emphasis on service to one's fellow man. It's partnered with other churches, often black churches, to repair homes and clear vacant lots — sharing the Good News through work." It's that sort of fellowship that attracted the Pryors, he said.

Moderates and liberals may worry that Fellowship Bible sermons that don't offend Pryor might offend them. Some of them were displeased when Pryor took his two children out of public school this fall (Baker Elementary in the Pulaski County District) and enrolled them in Walnut Valley Christian Academy. Pryor wasn't unhappy with Baker, and remains a supporter of the public schools, a spokesman said, but the Pryors have strong religious convictions and wanted their children to try a school that includes religious instruction in the curriculum.

Since his first race for attorney general, "pro-choicers" have fretted off and on that Pryor may be on the other side. Like many politicians, he's sort of tiptoed around the issue when possible. A spokesman said he'll address it as the campaign proceeds.

He's probably more conservative than his father, but chances are that Mark Pryor, like David Pryor, will generally remain close to the political middle. Moderates and liberals don't have anywhere else to go, in any case. All the ratings show that Sen. Tim Hutchinson votes the hardest conservative-Republican line in Congress.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Doug Smith

  • The L word and the C word

    I was excited to see the newspaper headline "Bielema liberal." "After all those neo-Nazis, we've finally got a coach who thinks right," I told friends. "I wonder if he belongs to the ADA."
    • May 1, 2014
  • Who's exasperated?

    Jim Newell was gripped by exasperation himself after reading this item in the business section. "Exacerbated" is the word the writer wanted, he sagely suggests.
    • Apr 24, 2014
  • We will run no race before it's ripe

    "What year would Oaklawn recognize as its 100th anniversary? After all, Oaklawn's advertising material is ripe with 'Since 1904,' but it's widely reported the first race wasn't run until 1905."
    • Apr 17, 2014
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Conspiracy theorists

    Back in 2000, I interviewed Rev. Jerry Falwell on camera in connection with a documentary film of "The Hunting of the President," which Joe Conason and I wrote.
  • The health of a hospital

    The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.
  • Virgil, quick come see

    There goes the Robert E. Lee. But the sentiment that built the monument? It's far from gone.
  • Real reform

    Arkansas voters, once perversely skeptical of complicated ballot issues like constitutional amendments, have become almost comical Pollyannas, ratifying the most shocking laws.
  • That modern mercantile: The bARn

    The bARn Mercantile — "the general store for the not so general," its slogan says — will open in the space formerly occupied by Ten Thousand Villages at 301A President Clinton Ave.

Latest in Cover Stories

Visit Arkansas

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Event Calendar

« »

May

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Abuse again at Arkansas juvenile lockup

    A guard was fired after choking a child at the Alexander Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center. It’s the latest in a long history of mistreatment at the facility.
  • The health of a hospital

    The Medicaid expansion helped Baxter County Regional Medical Center survive and thrive, but a federal repeal bill threatens to imperil it and its patients.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation