Arkansas Governor's Mansion mock image with Prayer Tower on top


By Dr. Fred Potato
Radio Free Ozarks Editor
February 10th, 2022

Arkansas’ Governor’s Mansion would gain a prominent prayer tower addition, audacious yet of questionable visual fit in the Governor’s Mansion Historic District in Little Rock, under a plan revealed by Republican candidate for governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Sanders outlined the design at a Little Rock Intrafaith Christian Counsel breakfast meeting held last Saturday in North Little Rock. The breakfast, generally limited to Protestant ministers in the Little Rock area, was held at the Christ on the Cross Baptist Church. Sanders was introduced by Reverend Bill Dahmet, who has known the Huckabee family for more than 30 years.

An invitation email stated that video recordings, audio recordings, and Catholics were not permitted at the meeting. However, a recording was made by Sanders’ campaign staff using the church’s in-house TV studio equipment, and an audio file was uploaded to the church’s cloud-hosted web site. The file, apparently created and posted by an automated computer process, was available for listening for several days but could not be downloaded. Radio Free Ozarks’ source at the meeting first alerted this reporter to the presence of the audio file.

Sanders spoke after a breakfast of bacon and Froot Loops. “When I was a tween I would travel with my dad during the summers. We visited Oral Roberts University several times for ministers’ conferences and the wild all-night prayer jams. It’s where I, as a truly devout and pious Christian, was first able to fly through the power of group prayer. Each time we visited we were both in awe of Oral Roberts’ golden prayer tower at the center of campus.

“Such a gilded monument to organized religion and televangelism. It was so fascinating that I took an up-close look. Mary Poppins-style, if you know what I mean. I looked in and could see Reverend Roberts, in prayer and bathed in a glow not of this earth. So peaceful. And the Reverend knew. He looked out through the window at me and smiled and nodded. An incredible night. It really stuck with my dad and me that Reverend Roberts had that channel, that beacon, that power, that competitive advantage in receiving the blessings of the Almighty.

“When my dad became Governor and we moved into the Governor’s Mansion, we knew we wanted to show the whole state that we were serious about securing every possible blessing for them. But times were different then and our informal proposal encountered some resistance from the neighbors, the Historical Commission, and the legislature. Thankfully the press never heard about it. But now with this Lady Huck back the House, and with a better class of legislators, and some help from above, this project is finally going to happen.”

Sanders set up a presentation board showing a composite rendering of the proposed tower addition, creating a great joyous noise from those gathered, with several shouts of “Hallelujah!” and “Amen!” Although this presentation board was apparently not intended to be made public, Radio Free Ozark’s source later found this board near the back door to the church, with the Sanders campaign apparently having left the item behind by mistake. The source provided this presentation board and a description of the event to Radio Free Ozarks on the conditions of anonymity and accepting eternal salvation.

A Rendering of the Proposed Prayer Tower Addition (Sanders Campaign Presentation)

“We’ve dusted off our plan, inspired by the Tulsa original, and with funding all lined up we plan light up this holy beacon by the middle of 2023,” Sanders explained. “We expect construction funds will come from the 2021 Biden Infrastructure Law. There’s money in there for retrofitting existing infrastructure to make it more resistant to climate change, and I think this is an excellent use of the state’s share of the money. Think of it like a bonus multiplier. By building this one hotline to God we can help persuade Him to steer those storms, droughts, wildfires, tornadoes and earthquakes away from us and towards those less worthy states, protecting infrastructure everywhere in The Natural State. And let’s just say, I think Arkansas’ fortunes will improve, in general.

“Like the ORU tower, ours will have the eternal flame at the top. But our flame will be much, much bigger. Visible all the way from the I-30 bridge, for sure. Powered by Arkansas’ very own Fayetteville Shale natural gas. Now, we love and value our neighbors in the Governor’s Mansion Historic District, who must put up with the various official functions and the security details. Some of them I have known since I was a teenager. We value their input and look forward to working with them to accommodate their requests and help them with alternative arrangements as required.”

Sanders briefly described the project’s timeline, noting a her frustrations that the current “lame duck” governor declined to move out early this year. Sanders added that her occupying the mansion may have to be delayed by several months but that she would be working remotely from “East Hampton,” although she did not clarify whether this meant the east side of Hampton, Arkansas or East Hampton, New York.

“The members of the Governor’s Mansion Historical Commission have done exemplary work over the years and we are indebted to them for their service. But now it is time to move on. When I assume the governorship, on my first day in office, I’ll be naming a new historical commission that will be evaluate this project on its true merits. My dad Mike will be president of the commission, because he deserves to be president. Our old family friend, Reverend Dahmet, has agreed to be on the commission. Jason Rapert has agreed to be on the commission and has already made a few pointed suggestions. The new prayer tower will fit the historical character of the district, because historically Arkansas is a religious state, founded on religious principles. The new prayer tower will fit right along the Ten Commandments monument at the capitol. Yes it will.

“I must move along to another private event, but I leave you with this: ‘David built an altar to the Lord there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the Lord answered his prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.’ 2nd Samuel 24:25. Thank you and God bless.”

Similar to her other recent appearances, Sanders did not take any questions. Sanders and her security detail quickly departed the meeting, to generous applause and a sound of squealing tires, before the meeting agenda shifted to a scheduled roundtable discussion, listed as “Solving the Papist Problem.”

Photo attributions:
ORU Prayer Tower: ©2004 Dustin M. Ramsey (Modified by RFO) CC BY-SA 2.5
Governor’s Mansion: ©2007 Adam Bartlett (Modified by RFO) CC BY-SA 2.0