On a wing and some prayers: Nunnelee attends events before heading to D.C.

By Emily LeCoz / NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Congressman-elect Alan Nunnelee flew to his new job in Washington on Monday after three packed prayer events across the district.
Hundreds of well-wishers sang, prayed and laid hands on Nunnelee and his wife, Tori, as the couple traveled from Columbus to Tupelo and then to Southaven, where they boarded a flight to the nation’s capital.
Nunnelee, a Republican who was elected in the Nov. 2 general election, will be sworn into office at noon Wednesday. He replaces outgoing U.S. Rep. Travis Childers, D-Miss.
“I am truly blessed,” Nunnelee said at Calvary Baptist Church, where more than 200 people gathered for Tupelo’s morning prayer event.
Those in attendance included three of the six political hopefuls vying for Nunnelee’s state Senate seat, which he left in November after his congressional win.
A Jan. 11th special election will be held to fill that slot.
Also appearing was U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., whom Nunnelee has followed his entire political career – first filling Wicker’s previous state Senate seat and now taking his former congressional role.
Nunnelee even won a much-coveted appointment to the House Appropriations Committee, a coup for a freshman congressman but one that also was awarded to Wicker his first year.
Much of the prayer event itself was led by local spiritual leaders, many of whom argued against the separation of politics and religion, saying America was founded on Christian values.
“Politics has always been involved in our church,” said First United Methodist Senior Pastor Rev. Andy Ray.
Also speaking on that theme was American Family Radio morning host J.J. Jasper, who read Christian-based quotes from some of the nation’s founding fathers.
Nunnelee also spoke. He compared himself to the Bible’s Caleb, who despite great obstacles trusted in God to deliver the promised land. The congressman-elect said he also would trust the Lord to help him face the nation’s numerous challenges.
And he said he’d follow Wicker’s example in doing so: “Roger has modeled a life where he can live in north Mississippi and work in Washington, D.C., and still retain our conservative values.”
Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@djournal.com.