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Billy McCormack

432 bytes added, 02:17, 26 August 2019
/* With the Christian Coalition */
{{Infobox person
|name=Billy Ervin McCormack
|birth_date=August 4, 1928
|birth_place=Jamestown, Bienville Parish<br>[[Louisiana]]
|death_date=May 31, 2012
|death_place=[[Shreveport]], Louisiana
|spouse=(1) Carolyn Tomme McCormack (married 1950-2005, her death)<br>
(2) Barbara Talley McCormack (married c. 2006-2012, his death)
|party=[[Republican Party|Republican]]
'''Billy Ervin McCormack''' (August 4, 1928 &ndash; May 31, 2012)<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Billy McCormack passes away|publisher=KTBS-TV|accessdate=June 6, 2012}}</ref> was a Southern [[Baptist]] [[clergy]]man from [[Shreveport]], [[Louisiana]], active for more than sixty years in the ministry and a figure in the [[Religious Right]]. He was one of four national directors of the [[Christian Coalition|Christian Coalition of America]], founded in 1989 by televangelist [[Pat Robertson]].<ref name=rright>{{cite web|url=|title=Religioius Right update||accessdate=June 6, 2012}}</ref>
From 1981 until his death, McCormack was the senior pastor of the University Worship Center, or University Baptist Church, at 9000 East Kings Highway in Shreveport. Prior to that time, he had been the pastor of three other area congregations. He was the founder and headmaster of Trinity Heights Christian Academy and University Christian Prep School, both at 4800 Old Morringsport Road, and the University Montessori School at 9000 East Kings Highway.<ref name=obit>{{cite web|url=http|title=Dr. Billy Ervin McCormack obituary|publisher=''Shreveport Times'', June 2, 2012|accessdate=June 5, 2012}}</ref>
==With the Christian Coalition==
In l987, McCormack was the Louisiana state coordinator of the "Americans for Robertson" presidential campaign.<ref name=pulpits>{{cite web|url=|title=Pulpits and Politics: The Role of Religion in Elections, September 27, 2004||accessdate=June 6, 2012}}</ref> Pat Robertson's weak showing in the 1988 Republican presidential primaries culminated in the nomination and election of [[George Herbert Walker Bush]] to the presidency. Meanwhile, the closing of [[Jerry Falwell]]'s [[Moral Majority]] and the embarrassment from scandals involving several nationally known televangelists, such as [[Jimmy Swaggart]], led the Religious Right to shift its concentration away from direct national politics to efforts in local communities. It was with McCormack's personal encouragement in 1989 that Robertson founded the Christian Coalition, with the young historian [[Ralph Reed]] as the first executive director.<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Skip Porteous: The Christian Coalition: An Introduction||accessdate=June 6, 2012}}</ref>
McCormack was the director of the Pastor's Council of the Christian Coalition and the southern regional director of the Freedom Council which Robertson established in an effort to recruit Christians into the political and governmental arenas.<ref name=pulpits/>
In addition to McCormack, the other directors of the Christian Coalition were Robertson himself, Robertson's son, Gordon Robertson, and Dick Weinhold, head of the [[Texas]] organization. McCormack also held the title of "vice president" of the coalition.<ref name=race/> The McCormack-led Robertson forces and other conservative allies in 1988 gained control of the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee. They blocked efforts to denounce [[David Duke]]], who from 1989 to 1992 was a controversial member of the Louisiana House of Representatives. Duke waged losing campaigns for governor and U.S. Senator in 1990 and 1991, respectively. McCormack's forces declined to investigate claims that Duke was selling from his House office copies of [[Adolf Hitler]]'s ''[[Mein Kampf]]'' and similar writings.<ref name=theocracy>{{cite web|url=|title=Frederick Clarkson, "Church and State'', November 1993||accessdate=June 6, 2012}}</ref>
Although the national GOP, led by [[Ronald W. Reagan]] and the first George Bush, repudiated Duke in 1989, when he narrowly won a special election for the state House, it was not until November 1990 that Robertson publicly urged McCormack to "examine" Duke's record. McCormack stopped short of a public endorsement of Duke in the 1991 gubernatorial showdown with [[Edwin Edwards]], Duke still received 69 percent of the white evangelical vote. McCormack was seated next to President Bush at a Conservative Coalition gathering in September 1992 at Robertson's walled estate in Virginia Beach, [[Virginia]].<ref name=theocracy/>
In 2008, still involved with the Religious Right, McCormack joined other ministers in the endorsement of former Governor [[Mike Huckabee]] of [[Arkansas]] for the Republican presidential nomination, which was ultimately taken by U.S. Senator [[John S. McCain]] of [[Arizona]]. In his support for Huckabee, McCormack described the Arkansan as "not only well equipped for the presidency, he has demonstrated godly and righteous leadership in government ... He will unify evangelicals nationwide in one giant move toward the nomination at first and the general election to follow. He is America’s logical choice.”<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Prominent Pastors and Christian Leaders Who Have Endorsed Huckabee||accessdate=June 6, 2012}}</ref>
McCormack has also worked on behalf od of [[civil rights]] matters. He served on Shreveport's Human Relations Commission, the Black History Committee, the [[Martin Luther King]] Birthday Committee. For two years, he chaired the Human Rights Conference.<ref name=race>{{cite web|url=|title=We've Come a Long Way, Baby, in Race Relations, March 16, 2008||accessdate=June 6, 2012}}</ref>
In the 1950s, McCormack, along with the controversial "New Radical Right" publisher [[Ned Touchstone of Bossier City]], had been an aide to [[Democratic Party|Democratic]] [[U.S. Representative]] Thomas Overton Brooks, for whom the Veterans Administration Hospital in Shreveport is named.
McCormack died in Shreveport at the age of eighty-three. He was preceded in death by his first wife, the former Carolyn Tomme(1933-2005), and a brother, Dr. Jack McCormack. He was survived by his second wife of six years, the former Barbara Talley; daughters, Victoria Lynn Williams and husband Charles; Patricia Jane McCormack Reeves, and son, William Michael McCormack and his wife, Cynthia. Services were held at the University Worship Center with Dr. Carlos Spaht, II, the son of a 1952 Louisiana gubernatorial candidate, officiating. Interment was at Providence Cemetery in Ringgold in Bienville Parish.<ref name=obit/>
Daniel Eugene "Dan" Perkins (born 1953), a Republican state senatorial candidate in 1999 against the late Ronald Bean<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=Louisiana primary election returns, October 23, 1999||accessdate=June 6, 2012}}</ref> and a Christian Coalition member, served as a pallbearer at McCormack's funeral. Of McCormack, Perkins said: "Though he influenced thousands worldwide, Pastor McCormack would cancel his plans and return home every time a member of his congregation was in need. That repeated scenerio displayed his true heart and "calling" as a pastor above all else. ..."<ref>{{cite web|url=http|title=Billy Ervin McCormack||accessdate=June 6, 2012}}</ref>
{{DEFAULTSORT:McCormack, Billy (Louisiana pastor)}}
[[Category:Louisiana People]]
[[Category:Republican PartyRepublicans]]
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