Great Plains Chapter - Americans United For Separation of Church and State

First Presbyterian Church of Wichita and AU

On April 28th, I had the pleasure of speaking before a group of retired men who attend the First Presbyterian Church of Wichita. These gentleman were former educators, school administrators, engineers, and worked in the airline industry. In other words, these very educated men have made a difference all their lives to the betterment of humankind, and continue to meet and learn about new issues and concerns in the community.

My mission was to explain what Americans United for Separation of Church and State does both nationally and in the Wichita community, as well how important it is to demand our public officials uphold the church-state principle.

Nothing is more exciting than going before a group of religiously affiliated people who understand our Constitution established a secular government. These Presbyterian gentlemen do not feel threatened by the idea that government's role is to run the day to day affairs of the state, and not to promote or elevate religion within public policy. Halfway through our discussion, the Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Dr. Brent Johnston, joined the group and very eloquently stated the case for church-state separation! If only more ministers and religious leaders in Wichita and Kansas would understand church-state separation protects Americans from sectarian violence.

At the conclusion of this wonderful discussion, I was given a tour of the sanctuary and small chapel. I was simply stunned by the magnificent architecture of the church with its domed ceiling (so unusual) and the small chapel that was right out of Chaucer England! The church was enormous but it was the warmth and hospitality of its members that was most impressive of all. It's good to have support among our religious friends in Wichita for the separation of church and state.

Vickie Sandell Stangl