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Gross Announces Charter Membership of Ohio Legislative Prayer Caucus

May 24, 2023
Jennifer Gross News

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COLUMBUS – State Representative Jennifer Gross (R-West Chester) announces charter membership of the newly formed Ohio Legislative Prayer Caucus (OLPC) of the 135th General Assembly. The OLPC is co-chaired by Representative Gary Click (R-Vickery) in the Ohio House and State Senator Michele Reynolds (R-Canal Winchester) in the Ohio Senate. 

This bicameral caucus advocates for religious freedom and Judeo-Christian values that have been embedded in our American culture since its foundation. The OLPC is an affiliate of the American Prayer Caucus Network (ACPN), under the direction of Congressman Randy Forbes.

“Faith and prayer have been the building blocks of our culture since our nation’s inception,” Gross stated. “I am pleased to carry on that tradition in Ohio’s 135th General Assembly. It remains a value for my constituents, as well as for me personally.” 

Before the caucus was official, several members raised their voices in support of the East Knox School Board, which had been unfairly targeted for the widespread and longstanding practice of many governmental entities—opening in prayer.

“Misinformation coupled with intimidation toward faiths and religious liberty is advancing at an ever-increasing frequency,” Click said. “Through prayer and strategic action, we can make an impact and stand up for these values in Ohio.” 

“Legislative prayer caucuses like this one exist in Congress and almost 40 other states,” Reynolds said. “Our goal is to provide legislators with proven policies and a wide support network as we navigate obstacles and opportunities, both widespread and unique to Ohio.”

The Ohio Legislative Prayer Caucus plans to champion and track bills that touch on religious freedom and Judeo-Christian values in the Buckeye state. The caucus is open to all members who share in its mission.

The OLPC has officially endorsed Senate Bill 49, Reynolds’ Religious Expression Days (R.E.D.) bill, during its first meeting. Reynolds’ R.E.D. bill would require Ohio K-12 public school districts to allow students up to three excused absences per academic year during observed religious holidays or religious activities. The Ohio Senate unanimously approved the bill on April 26th and it  currently awaits a hearing in the House Primary and Secondary Education Committee.

While other members are expected to join the OLPC, charter members include State Representatives Adam Bird (R-New Richmond), Thaddeus Claggett (R-Licking County), Gary Click (R-Vickery), Bill Dean (R-Xenia), Jennifer Gross (R-West Chester), Marilyn John (R-Richland County), Darrell Kick (R-Loudonville), Angie King (R-Celina), Roy Klopfenstein (R- Haviland), Beth Lear (R-Galena), Susan Manchester (R-Waynesfield), Riordan McClain (R-Upper Sandusky), Melanie Miller (R-Richfield), Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House), Phil Plummer (R-Dayton), Jena Powell (R-Arcanum), Reggie Stoltzfus (R-Paris Twp.), Bernard Willis (R-Springfield), and State Senators Michele Reynolds (R-Canal Winchester), Terry Johnson (R-McDermott), and Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario).