- - Friday, August 14, 2015

On Monday, I loaded up my sons and headed over to a Ted Cruz rally in metro Nashville, Tennessee. The venue was packed beyond capacity, the air conditioning didn’t really keep up with the body heat and blazing weather outside. And, Mr. Cruz was delayed by over an hour due to his earlier events each going a bit long. Oh, and the event was a “no-chairs” event — just a big open room for a raucous pep rally. So, we stood in our “Sunday clothes” in a warm room with over a thousand people.

Honestly though, nobody seemed to care a drop. This was a pro-Cruz crowd before the Senator even arrived.

But it was at an earlier rally Mr. Cruz led that something very special happened.

If you know the story of his family at all, then you’re probably familiar with the fact that his father, Rafael, is a preacher, traveling all over the country. But when Ted Cruz was just a toddler living in Canada, his father had decided he was tired of being a husband and father. He left the family and headed to Houston, Texas. But that is when he heard the Gospel, repented of his sin, converted to Christ, and flew back home to reunite with his family.

The Christian who was instrumental in leading Rafael along this path was a pastor by the name of Gaylon Wiley. 

Rafael became a Christian and was baptized, and Ted followed later at the age of eight, also being baptized by Pastor Wiley.

Wiley now lives in Lebanon, Tennessee, east of Nashville, and came down to Murfreesboro for the rally.

Local ABC affiliate WKRN reported that Cruz seemed moved by the appearance of Wiley: 

In a slightly halting tone and brushing his eyes, Senator Cruz said “Brother Wiley baptized me at eight years old when I was a Christian, so I am really glad to be here in Tennessee.”

After the rally, they embraced in the parking lot and shared a moment together before Cruz needed to get down the road (that’s where the event I was at fits into the story!).

Pastor Wiley told WKRN:

“I had the privilege of talking to Rafeal Cruz in the 1970s in a home just like Ted told it today. And the Holy Spirit touched him so much he fell out of that chair on his knees and prayed the sinner’s prayer and changed his life and flew back to Canada and got his family back together again.”

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