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Taking the Risk!!

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At his inauguration as Governor of Alabama in 1963, George C. Wallace proclaimed, “Segregation now! Segregation tomorrow! Segregation forever!” 

That same year Wallace blocked the door of the registrar’s office at the University of Alabama, trying to halt National Guardsmen who were there to help enroll the university’s first two black students.

Wallace ran unsuccessfully for U.S. President in 1964, ’68, ’72, and ’76. In the 1968 election, he received ten million votes. While campaigning in Laurel, Maryland, in May, 1972, he was paralyzed by an assassin’s bullet, and he spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

Years later, in 1983, Wallace was genuinely converted to Christ and sincerely repented of his earlier views on racial matters. 

In his last term as governor of Alabama, he appointed black officials to state offices. He even reached out to Arthur Bremer, the man who had tried to assassinate him in 1972. He once wrote to Bremer in prison, telling him, “I love you.” On September 13, 1998, George Wallace died at age 79. 

Alabama Governor Fob James, Jr., said, “Governor Wallace was prepared to do battle where he thought it necessary at the time and where he thought it was right, and then he had the courage to change and say, ‘There were times I was wrong.'” 

A day prior to his funeral, an estimated 25,000 mourners, almost as many blacks as whites, walked reverently past his coffin in the Alabama capitol building.

The most remarkable aspect of George Wallace’s life was his willingness to change. In his early days, he made a nasty reputation for standing for some wrong ideas. But, by the time of his death, even his enemies had to admit George Wallace was willing to take the risk of change.

Thanks to Mickey Anders               Thanks to Patrick DeBoeck for the photo. 

When in YOUR life have YOU taken such a risk to change for the better? Do YOU believe that the Holy Spirit can touch the hearts of other George Wallaces in politics today in a similar way? If not, why not?


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