Above, Bill and Deborah Owens
October 2020 – “As someone who hopes to see our community grow stronger and more prosperous, who wants to see family and faith respected and preserved, I find that the Democratic Party no longer has room for me,” said Bill Owens, founder of the Coalition of African American Pastors (CAAP), at a November 2016 press conference.
“I realized my relationship with the Democrats was completely one-sided. They asked for everything – support, votes, loyalty – and gave nothing in return. If we want to reclaim our power as voters, then African Americans need to demonstrate that we won’t allow ourselves to be used.”
CAAP began over 30 years ago as Give Me A Chance Ministry in partnership with Oral Roberts University. Owens said, “We wanted to reach out to ‘the least of these.’ These were students who didn’t have the background or the means to go to college but had the ability. I had a relationship with the Roberts family such that they would admit a student on my word, so we were able to get many into college who never thought it was possible.”
As the ministry grew, he said, “We started taking on issues dealing with the morals of our country and Christian values, and about 15 years ago, we changed our name to CAAP,” Owens told AFA Journal.
According to its website, CAAP is “a national Black-led organization dedicated to the propagation of biblical values.” Members defend biblical marriage, religious freedom, the family, and other matters of faith. Though they are Black-led, they invite and welcome believers of all ethnicities to join together in the work of encouraging Christians everywhere to stand up for their convictions.
“Our primary goal is to educate the public to the facts,” Owens said. “We want to educate everyone, and the Black community in particular, as to what’s going on and why they are not thriving.”
As one who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights movement, Owens has a deep concern for his people. “In 2015 I was having a conversation with a friend of mine, Bill Federer, a great historian,” Owens recalled. “I said, ‘Bill, what happened to the Black community? We marched, and the Black people seemingly are not doing much better.’”
Federer explained to Owens what happened in the Democratic Party and with Black leadership. That conversation caused Owens to begin his own research, which resulted in his book A Dream Derailed in 2019. (See below.)
“I wanted to tell the story, but I wanted proof,” Owens said. “So, the book is a culmination of years of studying and looking at what happened.”
In spite of the fact that most Blacks are conservative on social issues – marriage, religion, abortion – almost 90% still vote with a party that, according to its platform, doesn’t share their values. Owens believes it is because “they have been brainwashed.”
“I would like to continue to work with pastors and gradually educate them,” Owens said. “We have a very hard work to do, to tell the truth and instill the truth in these people.
“So many of the pastors are afraid of their members because they’re so liberal. Those in the pulpit are not standing up and telling the truth.”
Owens hopes CAAP can be an agent to educate people and arm them to engage the culture with solid biblical truths.
In A Dream Derailed, Bill Owens makes the case that the Democrats used the civil rights struggle to gain political power in the Black community. The book is available at adreamderailed.com. Learn more about CAAP at caapusa.org.