American Renewal Project

Year in review: stories of abandoned norms in politics and governance

BY: - December 27, 2022

As we look back on 2022 this week, a few themes emerge in Policy Watch stories across a spectrum of topics, from state politics and higher education to public health crises and criminal justice. One thread tying together many of the year’s stories: the abandoning of political norms. In the wake of the tumultuous Trump […]

Demographic shifts, historical revisionism fueling Christian nationalist push among conservatives

BY: - October 28, 2022

This week, Policy Watch published a report on the Christian nationalism animating The American Renewal Project, a conservative evangelical group working closely with the N.C. Republican party to promote GOP candidates and recruit pastors to run for office. The group, which rejects the concept of a separation between church and state, seeks to make its […]

North Carolina Republican leaders embrace Christian nationalism

BY: - October 26, 2022

Conservative pastors, political allies aim to tear down any wall between church and state When Pastor Ken Graves took the podium at Calvary Chapel Lake Norman in Statesville last month, he cut an imposing figure. Dressed in jeans and heavy boots, the sleeves of his work shirt rolled up to reveal the large tattoos on his massive forearms, he wore a leather holster on his belt.

Lt. Governor rips Potato Heads, “egghead” Christian leaders, transgender people in church speeches

BY: - October 20, 2022

This week Policy Watch published a special report on the increasingly close relationship between the American Renewal Project, conservative evangelical churches and the North Carolina Republican party. To report the story, Policy Watch attended North Carolina Renewal Project events this month and last. Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson spoke at these events, as he does at […]

PW special report: Religious conservatives showcase close bond with NC Republican leaders

BY: - October 19, 2022

Recent church-based events test IRS rules, court allegations of Christian nationalism   Gary Miller has a story he likes to tell about religion and politics. When serving as pastor of a church years ago, he was frustrated by how long it took to get a building permit. So he ran for city council - and lost by one vote. “I came back to my people Sunday morning,” Miller told a crowd earlier this month at Cross Assembly church in Raleigh. “And I said, ‘I’d like for everyone who voted for me to please stand’. And those that remained seated, I handed out voter registration cards.”

Robinson, Walker respond to criticism of LGBTQ comments, connections to right wing religious group

BY: - October 9, 2021

This week Policy Watch published a story delving into the connections between Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn, former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker and right-wing religious group the American Renewal Project. The group rejects the separation between church and state -particularly in public schools –  condemns LGBTQ people and Muslims and regularly uses […]

Lt. Governor Mark Robinson to headline event for religious right group seeking “culture war”

BY: - February 16, 2021

New Lt. Governor Mark Robinson is, like his predecessor Dan Forest,  no stranger to controversy. Next month he’ll be proving it again, following in Forest’s footsteps as a keynote speaker for a North Carolina Renewal Project event in Raleigh. As Policy Watch reported in 2019, the American Renewal Project holds similar expense-paid private events across the […]


NC GOP leaders must disavow Franklin Graham’s attack on public education

BY: - October 1, 2019

It’s never particularly surprising when the Rev. Franklin Graham makes outrageous statements and/or takes extremist, right-wing stands on various matters. It’s even less surprising when Graham’s pals in the state Republican Party turn a blind eye to such statements and stances. Heck, one of Graham’s employees, Deanna Ballard, holds a seat in the state Senate. […]


Hotel chain on use of its Charlotte facility by group featuring extremist speakers: “Meh”

BY: - September 26, 2019

As Policy Watch reported earlier this morning, a growing number of voices are calling on Lt. Gov. Dan Forest to withdraw from next week’s “North Carolina Renewal Project” event at the Renaissance Charlotte Suites Hotel. This includes the Washington, DC-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) which decried the idea of a public official like Forest […]