By / Dec 13

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 13, 2023 Brent Leatherwood, president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, has appointed Hannah Daniel to serve as the next director of public policy to lead the entity’s work on Capitol Hill.

In this position, Daniel will oversee the ERLC’s Washington office, coordinating its public policy efforts in D.C. and across the nation. Daniel will advocate for legislation and policies that advance the interests of Southern Baptists in the public square.

“I am thrilled Hannah Daniel has accepted this role for our Commission,” Leatherwood said of her appointment. “She has led our legislative work as policy manager with distinction for well over a year now. The expertise, skill set and talent she brings to this role in Washington should make every Southern Baptist proud of this development. 

“When I travel to our nation’s capital for meetings, both those on Capitol Hill with elected leaders and coalition peers for our work, I am constantly grateful for the voices that sing Hannah’s praises for the work she does on behalf of our churches. She always conducts herself with integrity, and views this work not merely as a chance to articulate helpful policy proposals but also as a chance to bring the gospel to those in the highest offices in the land.”

Southern Baptist and evangelical leaders provided the following accolades for Daniel’s appointment. 

“Hannah Daniel is an excellent choice for this very important role at the ERLC! It was a joy to know her as a student at Union University, and it has been a joy to see her use her intellectual gifts, her relational ability, and her diligent work for the glory of God and the good of others through her work in our nation’s capital. As director of public policy for the ERLC, Hannah will be a strong and faithful voice for Southern Baptists and all people of good will on the important matters affecting our country and, by extension, the world.” – Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver, president, Union University

“Hannah Daniel is a stellar young woman with an exceptional work ethic. Hannah was a leader in our youth group, serving locally through tutoring inner city children as well as participating in international missions. She is fully committed to the Lord and the advancement of His Kingdom. I am so grateful that we have such a talented young woman willing to serve our SBC in this strategic position.” – Donna Gaines, Bible teacher and author, Bellevue Baptist Church

“I am always thankful when I see young leaders using their gifts and abilities for Christ’s glory. During recent transitions Hannah has demonstrated her ability to be a salt and light witness in the legislative world that is Washington, D.C.” – Kevin Smith, chair, ERLC board of trustees

“I had the privilege of hiring Hannah Daniel when I worked at the ERLC. She’s incredibly talented, intelligent, and a phenomenal advocate in Washington, D.C., for the vulnerable, for religious liberty, for the pre-born and so many other issues that Southern Baptists care about. She represents Christ well in whatever space she steps into and will continue to lead with conviction and grace.” – Chelsea Sobolik, director of government relations, World Relief

“Hannah has been an important member at our church in downtown Washington for several years. She helps lead a small group here on Capitol Hill attended by dozens of Hill staffers and serves regularly at our church. She loves the Great Commission, is passionate for policy and truth, and most of all loves Jesus in a way we all see and feel.” – Benjamin Palka, pastor, King’s Church D.C.

Hannah Daniel biography 

Daniel is from Memphis, Tenn., where she was an active member of Bellevue Baptist Church. She graduated from Union University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in economics. As an intern with the ERLC in 2020, she gained experience and insight into the advocacy work for Southern Baptists on Capitol Hill. Following her internship, she worked at the National Immigration Forum to engage faith-based partners and advocates in common sense immigration reforms. In 2021, she rejoined the ERLC staff under Brent Leatherwood’s leadership as a policy associate and then in 2022 as policy manager. Daniel lives in Washington, D.C., where she is a member and small group leader at Kings Church D.C.

The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest Protestant denomination with more than 13.6 million members and a network of over 47,000 cooperating churches and congregations. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.

To request an interview, contact Elizabeth Bristow by email at [email protected] or call 202-547-0209. 

By / Sep 19

WASHINGTON, D.C, September 19, 2016—Russell Moore, president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, has appointed Travis Wussow as the new vice president for public policy and general counsel.

In this position, Wussow will direct the ERLC’s Washington office, coordinating all its legislative, coalition and legal efforts. Wussow will also coordinate international affairs for the ERLC.

Prior to assuming this position, Wussow served as the ERLC’s director of international justice and religious liberty, launching the ERLC’s first international office located in the Middle East.

“Travis Wussow is the natural choice to serve with me in this vital capacity in Washington,” said Moore. “Travis has modeled conviction and skill in law, in advocacy and in ministry. During his time at the ERLC, Travis has brought unmatched insight and effectiveness in areas of international justice and freedom. I look forward to working together in our nation's capital, connecting the vision of the kingdom of Christ to the pressing issues facing the country and the world.”

Prior to his tenure with the ERLC, Wussow served as executive pastor and general counsel for the Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas, and prior to that served as a Fellow with International Justice Mission. Wussow began his career at Jackson Walker LLP in Austin, Texas, the largest law firm in Austin. At Jackson Walker, Wussow represented clients in the energy sector, practicing administrative and legislative law before the state legislature and federal and state agencies.

“I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead ERLC’s work in Washington,” said Wussow. “Our country and our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world face significant challenges, and ERLC is well-positioned to provide policy and advocacy leadership in the years to come.”

Wussow received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance from The University of Texas at Austin and a Juris Doctor from The University of Texas School of Law.

Wussow’s appointment to this executive role was unanimously confirmed by the ERLC board of trustees at their most recent meeting. He will assume his new position in January 2017.

The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest Protestant denomination with more than 15.2 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.

The ERLC has recently opened fully-functioning insert studio equipped with a dedicated fiber optic link to Vyvx for on-demand and cost-effective access for live and pre-taped television interviews seven days a week.

To request an interview with an ERLC representative, contact Elizabeth Bristow by email at [email protected] or call 202-547-0209.

By / Sep 8

Steven Harris serves as the Director of Advocacy, working out of the ERLC’s Washington office. In this role, he works with government leaders in the legislative and executive branches to advocate for the ERLC’s position on important issues, while also analyzing legislation and producing content for ERLC outlets. He holds a B.S. in Religion from Vanderbilt University, an M.Div. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and an M.A. in Religion from Yale University.

How did you come to know the Lord?

The Lord saved me at an early age. I was blessed to grow up in a household where church attendance was normative. Every Sunday, my parents — most often, my mother — would take me and my brothers to The First Baptist Church of Melrose Park, Ill., just fifteen miles west of Chicago. Both my mother and my Sunday school teacher, Prince Ella Larkin (she was just as serious as her name!), were faithful to share the gospel with me.

By God’s grace, I took him at his word early on and acknowledged my sin and desperate need for the Savior. There would be times in high school and in college where I struggled with my own assurance as I saw other “early professors” around me display little-to-no evidence of genuine faith. However, God was gracious to sustain me in those times with not only a reminder of evidences of his saving grace in my life, but also a reminder that the grounds of my salvation did not ultimately rest upon my own performance, but Christ’s.

The Lord used my mother’s witness to call my father to himself. He and I were baptized together, and now we’re both preachers.

What are some of your favorite books?

I interpret “some” as 14. You asked!

Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology

W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

John Frame, Doctrine of God

Albert Raboteau, Slave Religion: The “Invisible Institution” in the Antebellum South

Anthony Hoekema, Saved By Grace

Ira Berlin, Generations of Captivity: A History of African American Slaves

Richard Baxter, Reformed Pastor

Perry Miller, The New England Mind: The Seventeenth Century

Daniel Howe, What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848

Carl F. Henry, The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism

Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877

John Saillant, Black Puritan, Black Republican: The Life and Thought of Lemuel Haynes

Norman Geisler, Legislating Morality: Is It Wise? Is It Legal? Is It Possible?

Mark Dever, Nine Marks of a Healthy Church

What music is on your iPhone right now?

In addition to an album of white noise forest and nature sounds for my son, here are a few artists: Fred Hammond, Marvin Sapp, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, Lecrae, Trip Lee, Flame, Coldplay, Common, Sovereign Grace Music, Hezekiah Walker, Boyz II Men, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Outkast (and then there’s that U2 album that showed up one day).

What’s something surprising about you?

I used to bowl on a travel team. And I still take bowling very seriously (my own bag, balls, shoes, personalized towel, powder . . . the usuals). I’m unashamed!

Tell us about your family.

I’ve been married to my beautiful bride, Sunni, for seven years. We met at Vanderbilt in our co-ed dorm freshman year but didn’t start dating until our senior year (took her a couple years to recognize the Lord’s blessing). She is a godly, brilliant woman with an undergraduate degree in engineering science and a law degree from the University of Kentucky. She currently practices in the areas of general litigation and labor & employment with a corporate firm here in D.C. We had our son, Jude, during our time in New Haven, Conn. He is coming up on 11 months and likes to wave and smile at girls (we’re already praying!).

What do you like to do for fun?

A year ago, I probably would’ve mentioned “reading and dinner and movies with my bride.” These days, my time away from work is spent at the neighborhood playground or playing the Daddy’s Gonna Getcha crawling game with my son (it can’t be found in stores). I’m also eagerly awaiting the sixth season of AMC’s The Walking Dead (sad but true).

What excites you most about your new role?

I feel like this divinely-orchestrated opportunity marries my passion for biblical theology with a call to sociopolitical engagement. Elsewhere, I’ve spoken of the oft-estranged notions of kingdom advancement and congressional advocacy. On the one hand, we certainly do not want to erroneously believe that God’s kingdom will be ushered in through a vote on the senate floor. The former, already inaugurated and awaiting consummation, is presently seen in the church as sinners repent and believe in Jesus — the latter is just a vote.

However, that vote is an important one and is meant to be representative of the ideas and ideals of the people for the betterment of society. Evangelical Christians are a part of that “people,” and I get to represent a host of them in rehearsing before Capitol Hill and the culture this timeless truth: Jesus is Lord.