Truck rigged for iVoteValues to register and inform voters

By Dwayne Hastings
Jun 17, 2004

INDIANAPOLIS (BP)—According to Bureau of Transportation statistics, nearly 5 million commercial semi-trailer trucks are registered in the United States. But in a few days, one truck will stand out in the convoy of 18-wheelers on our nation’s highways — the Mobile Voter Registration Rig and Information Center.

While — an initiative to register voters and underscore the importance of voting one’s values — was launched with its website as the primary vehicle to carry the message, it now has a partner on wheels ready to cross the country.

The rig, which made its debut on the exhibit floor during the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Indianapolis, is decorated in a red, white and blue motif and packed with resources, including video screens and computers to aid voters in appreciating the importance of voting on Election Day and the necessity of considering biblical truths when entering the voting booth.

SBC President Jack Graham was the first to enter the truck the morning of June 14. He praised the initiative for calling Americans to engage in the “simple act of registering to vote” and for its focus on informing citizens of issues critical to the nation and its future. Graham is pastor of the Dallas-area Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano.

The 77-foot semi-trailer is designed for visitors to have an interactive experience as they walk through it. The truck will be equipped with seven computer stations to allow guests to begin the voter registration process and to be introduced to the concept of values-based voting.

Graham said he looks forward to the truck traveling the “nation’s streets and highways” taking the message of “personal involvement and social responsibility” to voters across the nation. “I am hoping that Southern Baptists and millions of evangelical Christians will get on the truck and vote their values this November,” he said.

Long emphasized by SBC ethicist Richard Land, the principle of values-based voting calls for Americans to vote their values, not their political party or the candidate whose economic proposals stand to benefit them financially. Land is president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the group spearheading the campaign and which outfitted the mobile voter registration unit for the road.

Land noted it might appear a little unorthodox for the moral concerns and public policy entity of the Southern Baptist Convention to have a tractor-trailer, but he said the circumstances that brought the truck to the ERLC were not happenstance.

“The truck has had a storied life,” Land said, noting the semi previously carried equipment and merchandise for the Charlie Daniels Band as they toured the country. The truck’s owners, Sid and Jill Yochim, left the music business soon after they gave their lives to Jesus Christ in 1989. The truck subsequently was dormant while the Yochims looked forward to a day when God would have a need for it.

“We had several opportunities to sell the rig and we really could have used the money, but we hung onto it,” said the Yochims, members of First Baptist Church in Lebanon, Tenn. “We are glad we didn’t sell the truck because now the Lord is going to use it.”

While the ERLC is refurbishing the vehicle for the effort, the Yochims are only looking for the costs of driving the truck from stop to stop to be covered. Yochim said the truck already had traveled to every state in the union. “We played just about every coliseum, convention center, private party and beer joint you could imagine,” he said.

“Looking at the truck now, I realize I have done a 180 percent turn-around in every part of my life,” said Sid Yochim, who will be piloting the truck with his wife and two children on board for the tour.

“Instead of traveling all over the country going to honky-tonks and beer joints, we’re going to be traveling to churches, Christian concerts and other events with a message that calls Americans to reflect on their cherished right to participate in our democracy.”

The Mobile Voter Registration and Event Center will leave Indianapolis after the Southern Baptist Convention and head south to an event sponsored by the Georgia Baptist Convention in Atlanta. Other stops already scheduled for the truck are Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary; and an conference at Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville. The truck also will travel to Sioux Falls and Rapid City, South Dakota; Orlando and Tampa, Fla.; Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C; and Baton Rouge and Shreveport, La. More events are yet to be scheduled.

In addition to Land, Focus on the Family’s James Dobson, Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice and Jerry Falwell, pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va., will be headlining some of the stops.

— 30 —

Further Learning

Learn more about:

You May Also Like

5 Facts About Harriet Tubman

By Joe Carter - Apr 20, 2016

Last Summer the Treasury Department announced that a “notable woman” would be added to the newly redesigned $10:

Democracy is the theme for the next redesigned series and the Secretary will select a woman recognized by the public who was a champion for democracy in the United States.

Read More

Racial reconciliation and the gospel

By Richard Land - Dec 16, 2014

It grieves me to witness the extent to which racial mistrust and animosity still besets and bedevils America. However, given the visceral response generated by the tragic events in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York, it is clear that we still have a long way to go in our national life before we achieve Dr.…

Read More

Hostility to religion in U.S. at ‘all-time high’

By Tom Strode - Aug 27, 2012

Hostility toward religious expression “has reached an all-time high” in the United States, according to a new report.

“The Survey of Religious Hostility in America” shows a rising tide of attacks on religious liberty in the public square and in schools as well as against churches and ministries, Liberty Institute (LI) and Family Research Council (FRC) said in the 140-page report.…

Read More

Iranian-American pastor sees prison as ‘golden opportunity’

By Doug Carlson - Feb 28, 2013

“I Love Him! He is Gracious, Merciful, and Righteous to me.”

Those words of adoration to God might sound like something from a Sunday morning worship service somewhere across America. Instead, they arrived recently from the pen of a pastor suffering physical and psychological abuse in one of Iran’s most brutal prisons.…

Read More
House deletes ‘Safe Harbor for Churches’ measure Christians must be informed voters, ERLC’s Land says