Above, "Bishop E.W. Jackson speaking" by Mark Taylor is licensed under CC BY 2.0
August 2019 – In 2013, when Bishop E. W. Jackson ran on the Republican ticket for lieutenant governor of Virginia, an opponent hired a “tracker” to follow him. The tracker’s job was to catch the candidate saying or doing something that could be used against him in the campaign.
But rather than treat the tracker as an enemy in the camp, Jackson said he welcomed the man and responded to him with the love of Christ.
A few years after the campaign, which Jackson lost, he received a letter from the tracker. The man wrote that Jackson’s treatment of him made him more receptive to considering Jackson’s conservative stand on political and moral issues. The tracker also said that his encounters with Jackson played a part in his subsequent salvation.
That episode epitomizes what Jackson is seeking to do now on The Awakening radio show that he hosts on Urban Family Talk. UFT is American Family Radio’s network aimed at the urban black community.
“My vision and prayer for the program,” Jackson said, “is to awaken the black community that has been misled, exploited, and manipulated into believing that America is against it. There is a whole generation of discouraged, hopeless people who are being kept in a perpetual state of victimization. My hope is to awaken them with tough love and reason from that nightmare, and help them realize what my father made me realize.”
A stumbling start
The realization that his father brought to young Jackson’s life is a story that begins in the early 1950s in Chester, Pennsylvania.
“I spent the first 10 years of my life in foster care,” Jackson said. “My father would visit from time to time, but he was very young and simply did not have the resources to care for a young boy.”
By the time Jackson was 10, he was a gang member, a truant from school, and a petty criminal. That’s when his father stepped up – a move that would change his son’s life.
“It was a day in August. I was standing on the corner with some of my gang friends,” Jackson vividly recalls. “My father pulled up and summoned me to his car. He asked me if I would like to come live with him, and I said yes.” Just like that, they drove to the foster home and announced that the youngster was leaving. A new beginning lay ahead.
Right away, his father laid out clear rules and boundaries.
“After school I was to come home and do my homework, which he would check when he got home,” Jackson said. “Only after finishing my homework was I allowed to go outside and play. However, I was to go no further than my father’s voice would carry, because when he got home and called me, I was expected to appear.”
Though his father was not a Christian at the time, Jackson said God used his no-nonsense parenting style to transform him from a pre-teen street thug into a straight-A student, a Marine, and eventually a graduate of Harvard Law School.
“He would say to me, ‘Don’t back up. Don’t quit. Don’t come back to me with I can’t, because I won’t believe it,’” Jackson said. “He made it clear that he didn’t want to hear me blaming government or racism. I mean, it was Get out there and get it done and don’t come back to me with excuses.”
Although his father only had a sixth-grade education, Jackson said, “He lifted my vision and made me realize that nobody could hold me down. My father was my hero.”
Years later, when the senior Jackson came to Christ at age 60, the changes that followed his conversion did not go unnoticed by his son. When his father told him he was reading through the Bible, the young law student decided to undertake the same discipline.
“I thought, Yeah, an educated person ought to know the great books, and the Bible is one of them. If it comes up at cocktail parties, I want to be able to comment intelligently,” Jackson said.
But God’s Holy Spirit was working a different agenda.
“I had been reading in the Psalms and about David, a different kind of man – a warrior, but also tender and loving,” Jackson recalled. “When I awoke on December 22, 1976, God’s songs were on my mind, and God’s Son had invaded my heart.”
When he told his wife what had happened, and that he wanted to go to church with her, she thought he was having a nervous breakdown.
“But I did go,” he said, “and when the preacher asked if anyone in the congregation wanted to come forward to confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, I sprinted to the front, lay down on the altar, and just wept.”
Coming to Christ changed everything, including Jackson’s sense of patriotism.
“Although I was a patriot who had served in the Marine Corps, I came to realize that America was the only place in the world founded on the idea that human beings have value because they were created in the image of God,” he said, “and that the rights we cherish come from Him. That made me a passionate patriot.”
Soon Jackson heard the call to ministry. By the early 1980s, his young family had landed in Boston, Massachusetts, to pastor a church as well as to practice law.
It was also during those years that God brought an opportunity to take over management of a rhythm and blues radio station. Jackson changed the station’s format to gospel, and a passion for radio ministry was born.
Today, he hosts The Awakening, leads churches in Boston; Chesapeake, Virginia; and India, and serves as founder and president of S.T.A.N.D (Staying True to America’s National Destiny).
“Bishop brings a wealth of experience politically, historically, and most importantly, spiritually to the things everyday Americans are dealing with today,” said Wil Addison, UFT director. “He loves God and country and has an engaging and challenging way of speaking biblical truth to political and social issues.”
The Awakening airs Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9:00 a.m. (CT) on Urban Family Talk,
#toughtruthtweets from @ewjacksonsr
• God didn’t give rules for sexual morality to punish or deprive us of fun, but to protect us from the terrible consequences. The left denies that God’s way is the right way, and the consequence is grief and pain.
• Today Chik-Fil-A is the target. Tomorrow they ban or close churches that teach marriage as btwn 1 man & 1 woman, life as sacred from conception, gender as fixed and unchangeable. The left already attacks people who belong to such churches. You could be next.
• For a country that according to Andrew Cuomo “was never that great,” people certainly do want to come here. He may not think America is great, but many foreigners beg to differ.
• Muslims are the ones who try to terrorize and intimidate people into conversions or kill them for converting from Islam. To compare Muslims murdering Christians to Christians doing missionary work is anti-Christian bigotry.
(Note: Bishop Jackson’s Twitter page was suspended because of this tweet. To hear the whole story, go to urbanfamilytalk.com scroll to the April 22 broadcast.)