Charles Foster Johnson, founder of Pastors for Texas Children, barnstormed across Tennessee, Meeting with like-minded ministers who believe in separation of church and state.

Rev. Johnson organized 2,000 ministers in Texas, and PTC played a significant role in forging an alliance between rural Republicans and urban Democrats to stop vouchers.

“Johnson’s mission is starkly different from church leaders who want public funding available for religious and private schools. He is a fierce advocate of separation of church and state, as well as local control of schools and education funding.

“We want full funding of our public schools, and we are against privatization that diverts God’s common good money to underwrite private schools,” he said. “The public should stay public, and the private should stay private.”

“His advocacy model is being replicated in Oklahoma, Kentucky, Mississippi, and now Tennessee, where Johnson is rallying local pastors this week during stops in Knoxville, Nashville, and Pleasant Hill. He’ll close out his tour on Friday at First Baptist Church of Memphis, the city where some Tennessee lawmakers sought last year to create a pilot voucher program. That effort failed, but groups on both sides expect some type of voucher legislation will be introduced next January, when a newly elected General Assembly convenes under a new administration replacing outgoing Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.”

Pastors for Tennessee Children will be ready to fight against vouchers.

The support for vouchers comes from the American Federation for Children, an organization funded and founded by Betsy DeVos to promote vouchers. AFC spends hundreds of thousands of dollars in Tennessee at every election, to support voucher-friendly candidates.