The former Assemblies of God superintendent, who's never held office, will represent the Family First Party
In a feat that caught Australian political analysts unaware, a Christian-based family-values party--launched in September--has won a seat in an Australian state parliament. Andrew Evans, former Assemblies of God national superintendent for Australia, campaigned for the Feb. 9 South Australia poll as leader of the Family First Party. His win makes him a member of the 22-seat upper house, the Legislative Council.

"It's an absolute miracle," Evans said. "In South Australia they can't believe it. I've never been in politics, never been in any political party ever in my life. I'm 66 years of age, a semi-retired pastor, and I get a seat."

Though not an overtly Christian party, Family First defends its Christian values. Its stated objectives are to promote the health, welfare and unity of South Australian families, combat the problems of family breakdown, and assist groups that support and educate families. The party also pushed issues the major Labor and Liberal parties ignored, such as literacy standards and medical facilities for rural areas.

"South Australia has major problems with young women who are pregnant in [rural locations]," Evans said. "They all have to come to the [state capital Adelaide] because of insurance costs for doctors. So we did a TV ad on that."

Voter dissatisfaction with the major parties boosted Family First's chances. The election resulted in a hung parliament, and Labor now depends on independent members, including Evans, to retain power.

"We've indicated we'll cooperate with them," Evans said. "But there's legislation ...we'll have to put amendments in that promote our values more. And they've indicated they'd be open to any of that."

Evans said he had felt God urging him into politics for some time. Early last year, his son Ashley told him that for two consecutive nights he couldn't sleep because he had been thinking the two ought to be involved in politics. To Evans, this was God's confirmation he should run for the seat.

His son added that he believed they had "10 good years" to act against negative political trends in Australia such as the legalization of euthanasia, prostitution and marijuana--which would become irreversible after they were passed.

The two men created an executive team of legal, media and administrative professionals, and brought in experienced political experts to explain how the system worked. They launched Family First on Father's Day.

"Then we began to build," Evans said. "We worked incredibly hard. Day by day we contacted hundreds of people by phone."

The party ran 31 candidates in the election. Twenty-seven of them contended for lower house seats, with some collecting up to 7-1Ž2 percent of the vote. Though none were elected, their influence was still crucial. Under Australia's preferential voting system they ensured that other family-supportive candidates won or retained seats.

Family organizations welcomed Evans' win. Glenn Williams, CEO of Focus on the Family Australia, said party agendas constrained Christians in the major parties.

"I think what you'll find is many people interested to see what sort of success Andrew experiences with his party, the type of responses he's able to engender from the community at large as well as the Christian community, and also the responses in parliament," Williams said. "I think that if Andrew's party can have a good impact there, we may see other people wanting to replicate that in other states."

One person who already has contacted Evans about that is Peter Stokes, executive officer of Salt Shakers, a national organization promoting Christian ethics.

"I think it's perhaps long overdue that more Christians took an interest in the political arena," Stokes, of Melbourne, said.

Looking ahead to his eight-year term, Evans said: "It's up to [God] as to how far He wants to take it."
--Adrian Brookes in Australia

Best Magazine Deal. Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Charisma, SpiritLed Woman and Ministry Today, all for $24. YES - I want this deal!

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God's presence 3) Hear God's voice clearly! Click Here to draw closer to God!

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Rev. Samuel Rodriguez was the first Hispanic pastor in history to pray at a presidential inauguration.

    At Trump Inauguration, Charismatic Leaders Pray Boldly in Jesus' Name. Is This Foreshadowing a New Day in America?

    It was an amazing day to let religious freedom ring in America.

  • Pastor Jim Garlow in a file photo shown praying.

    Conservative Christian Leaders Gather in DC, Calling Trump's Election an Answer to Prayer

    "Although the news media is predicting protests, what I'm seeing is that everyone is abuzz ...

  • Donald Trump certainly needs your prayers.

    Why You Must Pray for Donald Trump

    Here are eight ways I plan to intercede for President Trump regularly.

  • When I flew into D.C. yesterday, there were so many Secret Servicemen on the plane I wondered what was going on!

    Jennifer LeClaire Releases Urgent Prophetic Warning Over Washington, D.C.

    When I flew into D.C. yesterday, there were so many Secret Servicemen on the plane I wondered what ...

  • Here's a prophetic word for Washington, D.C.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Raising Up Daniels in DC

    I believe we're on the precipice of a Third Great Awakening the Lord spoke to my heart about in ...

  • Does any of this reflect what's going on in your marriage?

    9 Characteristics of a Healthy Sexual Relationship for a Believer

    A healthy sexual relationship for a Christian couple takes effort, and it's worth working for.

  • Churches don't address this topic affecting women.

    The Secret Sorrow Women Carry

    This woman breaks the silence about a taboo subject to help restore many women.

  • Bishop Eddie Long died at 63.

    Bishop Eddie Long Dead at 63

    "Although his transition leaves a void for those of us who loved him dearly, we can celebrate ...

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit