WallBuilders Leadership Training Gets Remarkable Results, Part 2:Â Leadership is essential for us to turn the nation around. We have to raise up the next generation to understand what it means to be an American and what it means to have a biblical, constitutional, and historical perspective. In today’s episode, we interview CJ and Sarah on their experience at the WallBuilders Leadership Training program! Tune in now to learn more!Â
Air Date:Â 04/17/2018
Guest:Â C.J. Tanner andÂ Sarah Wacker
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
- WallBuilders | American historical events, founding fathers, historical documents, books, videos, CDs, tapes, David Barton’s speaking schedule.
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith And The Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we talk about the day”s hottest topics on policy and faith. All of it from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.
We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker, pastor, and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator.
You can find out more about us and our two websites – WallBuildersLive.com and WallBuilders.com. And be sure and write down WallBuildersLive.com today because we’re picking up somewhat on where we left off yesterday. And you can get yesterday’s program in our archives section right now at that website – WallBuildersLive.com.
David, Tim, we had two great guests with us yesterday. Both of them graduates of the leadership training program held here while WallBuilders every summer. And heard some great stories from these young students and the experiences that they had at the leadership training program. So, we got two more coming on today to tell us about their experience.
Yeah exciting to talk to two people today – C.J. Tanner and Sarah Wacker. Both from kind of very different aspects of their after college life and career. And actually, this leadership training program we do is something we actually partner with Mercury One, another charity over in Dallas, another 501c3. So, we do this actually over in Dallas to facilitate having more students to be able to come. But yeah. So, yesterday–
Fun All the Way Around
And by the way, in Dallas is a really cool place because WallBuilders got a ton of artifacts, but there’s also a ton over there and it happens to be the largest movie theater soundstage, filming stage, between L.A. and New York. So, that’s where they filmed all sorts of famous movies. If you want to say Barney, okay, every episode of Barney was filmed there, every episode of Walker Texas Ranger, and movies from Born On The Fourth of July, to Robocop, to all sorts of stuff, so many CDs were made there, do it”s really big.
So, it”s a great facility–
–is what we’re getting at, right. So–
And it”s loaded up with historical stuff there as well. So,between what WallBuilders has and between what they have over at Mercury One, some amazing historical stuff, including pop culture stuff, and movie stuff – it”s fun all the way around.
It’s a fun facility to be at. And, again, it allows us to expand this to have up to 50 students come each one of these sessions. But it’s something that, as we talked yesterday, it really is transformative. We talked to Victoria and she was able to take this information and actually do this incredible thing. Her professor is so impressed her professor wants to start having her come once a week and they’re talking about the founding fathers and what she learned.
With Jonathan who actually is going out very soon to be part of a conference with professors. And he’s going to be a lecturer there at a conference full of professors. It’s just– it’s so cool these opportunities.
A Highschool Teacher Uses This in His Classroom
So, today we have C.J. Tanner who is a high school teacher from Arkansas. Actually very involved in taking some of the things he learned and using it in his classroom. And so we have him on the line with us right now. C.J. who is one of our Leader Training Program interns back last year, 2017. But C.J. was a little different than some because C.J. came in as a history teacher, a high school history teacher. And actually, C.J., if I’m remembering right, I think you were just recently married when you got there as well, isn’t that right?
Yeah, that is correct. We got married about a month before.
Wow. So, by the way, welcome to the show. Thanks for being with us today.
Thank you for having me. It”s good to be talking with you.
And oh my gosh, bro, yeah I remember when you got there and I found out you were just recently married. I was thinking, “Wow, this is a big deal for your wife to let you come.” The summer months for teachers are half of the reason you are a teacher, right? I was a high school teacher for six years and, obviously, you love students, you want to impart truth, you want to help make a difference in their lives, give them a foundation. Not taking away from any of that, but summers are awesome and it’s a fun part about being a teacher.
But for you giving up not only part of your summer, but part of your newly married man summer, that was a big deal for you. So, absolutely major props to you for following through and pulling that off.
I appreciate that very much. It was a blessing for me to be able to go. I enjoyed every minute of it. The major props have to go to my wife Tracy. She was awesome putting up with me nurding out with history for a week, so I”ve got to give all of the credit to her on that one. But yeah, it was a joy being there. I enjoyed every minute of it.
Learning More History
Awesome. Well, so, yeah, obviously to your wife who I’m sure will be listening, we really appreciate you allowing C.J. to come and take that time away. Thank you very much. But so C.J. back to you part of what you did. So, if you’re already a high school history teacher you’re already familiar with history, right, there’s elements that you already understand and know. So, why would you as a history teacher think, “You know what, this will be worth two weeks of my time to come and be part of this leader training program to learn more history.”? Why were you thinking that when you came?
Well, just being a history teacher we have to go through workshops every year to keep our education hours up and continuing our education in some way. And I heard about this opportunity and said, “Man, I”ve watched and listened to WallBuilders and stuff coming out of Mercury One for a while and that sounds super exciting. I want to go and learn as much as I can from that.” And I wasn’t disappointed at all. It was the best training that I’ve ever been to as an educator.
I’ve only been teaching for three years, but by far this was the best teaching experience that I’ve had, or a training experience I’ve had so far as a teacher. Just getting to hold the artifacts in my hand that I had gotten to teach about before and even found that I had never heard of before. It was life changing, or at least career changing, by getting to see those artifacts firsthand.
You think about George Washington’s letters that he wrote. We hear a lot about his letters, but how many of us actually get to hold one in our hands. We got to do that at the training program which was just amazing. It’s hard to really put into words how awesome that was. But it was definitely worth it as a teacher. Any occupation that you”re in, but especially in teaching. It was great because I got to go back and say, “Hey, kids, I didn’t just get to learn about this stuff, I got to hold it.” And they actually, I think, are a little tired of me bragging about that by now, but it was definitely a great experience.
Was Class Different This Year?
So, C.J., that was certainly one of my wonderments is as a teacher, obviously, as you’re covering some of this in your various classes throughout the year, were there moments that maybe as you’re covering a specific person, or specific document, or an event, whatever the case might be, that maybe this year you told it a little differently because maybe you gained some insight or because Â you had an experience holding the document that gives you a connection to what’s going on. Was class different this year than maybe previous years based on some of what we did at the leaders training program?
Oh yeah, absolutely. One of the first things that comes to mind is one of the things that we did throughout our time there at the training program was we would take a different signer of either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution and we would just do research individually on those signers that we were assigned. We could only use primary source documents, we had to get the most accurate information– well, only only accurate information could be used from primary sources. And then we had to teach others in the class about that particular signer.
And I took their strategy back with me to the classroom and put that in effect in all of my classes. We spent some time early in the year just doing research on the signers. And these kids, they learned a ton more than my classes last year did, I feel like. Because they were able to see firsthand documents that they had researched and learning about each of these founders that many of them never heard of before.
And then just hearing stories that you and David told throughout the week I was able to retell those stories and show them documents that I looked up online to back those stories up. Stories like Patton’s prayer card at the Battle of the Bulge, the story of John Moran and other leaders in African-American history. So, just story after story that I hadn”t known before I was able to tell in class this year.
Having Students Study the Signers
Well, and, C.J., I love the fact that you are having students looking at signers of the Declaration, doing research with primary documents – that might not have made WallBuilders very popular in your class, right, if you were explaining that, “Hey, we’re going to do this like I did this summer.” But certainly on the back side I would think that it’s equip them with knowing so much more information. So, it’s not just because C.J. told us.
No, we actually looked up in original documents, right, we actually read in their writings and we saw this. And then when you’re able to present awesome stories, right, like John Moran who’s one of the first successful missionaries to Indians, at least to certain Indian tribes, and especially an – African-American, first one to ever do that. It’s so cool some of these stories and the fact that you now have the information that you can share with your class is absolutely a different kind of history class, right. It’s not just dates and dead people anymore. Now there are stories here and you”re going, “Man, this is awesome.”
And speaking of– so I saw on your social media that you recently took a group of students up to Washington D.C. and you all got to walk through some of that history. So, what was that like taking students to such a historically cool place?
Oh, that was that was amazing. I was exhausted afterward, but it was totally worth it because we took a group of about eight students and there were three adults, counting myself. And we just went up to D.C. and did a lot of touring, sightseeing. We traveled out to Mount Vernon, Washington’s home place out there. That was probably one of the more favorite spots among my students was Mount Vernon. Just seeing where George Washington lived and thinking, “Man, he walked here–“
Walking Where George Washington Walked
“–He stepped right there.” And that was just surreal. The way that connected to the leadership training program is I actually, one of the stories that we went over in the training program was about the bulletproof George Washington. The fact that he fought through several major battles including the battle in the French and Indian War when he and his troops were ambushed and he was the only surviving officer there. We’ve gone over that in class. And as we were going to George Washington home one of my students, he just kind of leaned up while the tour was going on and whispered in my ear, “This guy was bullet-proof.”
That is awesome.
That was fun thinking, “Man, these guys actually– they listened, and they learned, and now they’re getting to see this stuff for real.”
Well, and I’m sure that really kind of sealed the story for them because it’s one thing, right, if the teacher tells you something. But then when you go to this guy’s home, right, you’re at Mount Vernon, all of a sudden that story is not just something that was on paper or something theorized. No, there’s a new level of depth to this story because you’re at his home. But it’s so great that he remembered the bulletproof part. Bro, that’s just so cool that you covered that with them so.
So, but before I let you go, as someone who was already out of college, you were already in the middle of your career, you were even married, which don’t know that I would necessarily encourage like this – that”s tough for married people to come to Leader Training program. Although, I’m so glad that you did and I wouldn’t turn people away because they’re married. But certainly, if you’re looking at people who are out of college maybe they’re already looking into a career, but they’re looking at the summer thinking, “Hey, I’ve got two weeks this summer I could do something.” Would you encourage them to come be a part of the leader training program?
Even If You”re Not In Love With History
Oh, absolutely. No question about that. I would say if you’re not in love with history itself, give this a try, give it a chance. Because for one, you’re going to come away loving history – that’s a challenge that I issue to you. I don’t know of anybody that would be able to leave and not love history after that.
But also there is just an equipping there of people to learn how to defend the truth. We learn how to look up the truth using primary sources and things we’ve already spoken of, but then we learn to defend it. We learn how to say, “Look, this is what I believe in and why.” And that’s something that every person needs to be able to do in their life. Whether it’s with history, or just what they believe in spiritually, or whatever. So, I would definitely encourage anybody out of college, or whatever age, to look into this because it’s totally worth it.
C.J., man, we appreciate you taking some time and being with us today. I know that you already had school going on today, so you probably have something a grade or something to do. Your day is not done, but I appreciate you taking time out to come and do this interview with us today.
It was great talking with you, Tim, and I”m looking forward to connecting with you again.
Sounds great. For those listening, if you’re thinking, “Hey, this is something I want to be a part of, something I want my kids, my grandkids, to be a part of.” Go to WallBuilders.com/leadershiptraining to find out more, to sign up there on the website.
Coming up after the break we have Sarah Wacker who is another one of the leadership training interns from 2017. We’ll be right back after the break.
Leadership Training Program
Hey, friends! We’ve got a great program to share with you today. It”s the WallBuilders Leadership Training Program and it’s an opportunity for 18 to 25 year olds to come spend two weeks diving into the original documents we’re always talking about here on WallBuilders Live.
Tim, you’ve already been doing this a couple of summers and seen the results of young people coming to this program. We’re going to see more of them coming this year.
Yeah, Rick, it”s something that”s been cool to see the transformation with young people coming in. The emphasis, for us, largely is a pursuit of truth. We have a culture that doesn’t know what truth is. We don’t know what biblical truth is, or constitutional truth, or the American heritage that we have. And so we really dive into original documents and say, “Well, what did they actually write? What did they actually do? Not just what did somebody say, what is actually true, and the truth is what’s transformational.
Yeah, guys. This really is a remarkable opportunity. And for those who want to spend time with us and spend time in the original documents, this is a great program. So, if you’re from 18 to 25, or you know someone who’s 18 to 25, send them to sign up for one of our three sessions this summer at WallBuilders.com/leadershiptraining.
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. This is Tim Barton and I am joined by someone who was a part of our 2017 leadership training program, Sarah Wacker. Sarah, thanks for coming on the show today.
Hey, no problem, it”s a pleasure.
Well, good. So, 2017, as we’re doing this leadership training program, you came in a little different perspective because you weren’t someone who was necessarily in college in the midst of what was going on. And certainly we had people from all different areas whether it was just out of high school, or in college, or are out of college. But for you it was a little different. What was the inspiration for you to want to come be a part of this leaders training program?
Not Always the Fun Think to Talk About
Right. For sure. So, I’m actually a museum educator. I work at a local history museum in my city and so I’ve always loved history ever since I was a little girl. But really working in a place where I teach teach children about history and really what made America what it is today. It’s really important that I could come and to really learn from you guys the different ways that we can see how God worked through our nation’s history.
We live in a secular society where that’s not always the fun thing to talk about or the appropriate, acceptable thing to talk about. But I just wanted to gain that knowledge and reinforce it so that I can have the confidence to be able to say, “No, we were founded on Christian principles and this is what’s going on really if you look at our primary sources.”
So, as someone who– working in a history museum, someone who loves kids, you might not be the stereotypical 18 to 25 year old. Someone, not that they might not enjoy a history story, or not that 18 to 25 year olds don’t always love kids, but certainly you’re coming from a unique perspective. But even though you already loved history, when you came in was a foundation you had with a love of history something that was important as you came in? Or when you came in was there so much stuff that we covered and talked about it really, kind of your foundation didn’t matter?
I would say both. The tools that you guys were able to present to me and to the about 50 other interns that were there in July was just, it was– I”m kind of speechless about it to be honest. It really gave me the confidence, like I said before, to really just blaze forward in telling the kids that I really have grown to love from all these public schools and everything just really how important our primary source documents are. And every time I have a field trip come in we talk about how do we learn our history, how do we know what happened long ago? Sure, we can read our textbooks and that’s great, but what is the real root of the people that actually lived here and the people that actually experienced it.
Diving Into Primary Source Documents
So, I think coming into the internship that– and we had in class, sessions where we would actually dive into those primary source documents which was really cool and gave me the tools to be able to do that even in my job. Just actually last week I was doing some research and I found a really neat primary source document that really reinforced the fact that, hey, in 1905 during the St. Louis world fair people were giving thanks to God. And saying during the opening ceremonies, actually, ex-president Cleveland was talking about we owe all of this knowledge, this innovation, and everything to God. And just to be able to have developed those tools to find that kind of thing and to process it over the internship is fantastic.
Sarah, I love the fact that as you’re talking about original source documents. I almost feel like a proud older brother, papa, something of that scenario, right. Where obviously one of the things we tried to emphasize so much is it’s easy in culture when everybody has an opinion, when everybody has a thought. And so often people are willing to share their opinions and thoughts that we oftentimes lose perspective of what is real and what’s true.
So, the fact that you’re going back to truth is something that certainly we tried to promote so much of that. Even in the midst of the leadership training program we often said, “Hey, don’t just take my word for what we’re talking about.” Right? And we”d pull out the original books and documents and say, “Read this right here. See what it says.” So, hearing you’re doing that is awesome, so I”ve got to know – if you’re working in this historical site, this museum, all that’s involved–
–are there things that you were able to take and use in even your job and what you’re doing now?
Absolutely. So, part of the museum is a 1904 one room schoolhouse. So, I get to dress up in this schoolmarm attire and teach children, and also just guests that come in during open hours, and tell them about what education was like long ago. My favorite topic of our whole entire internship was the fact that education has really changed over time and what what did it used to be. And I get to share that the fact that it’s not just, we think of reading writing and arithmetic the, three “Rs”, but there’s really a fourth “R” and that righteousness.
“Religion: The Only Basis of Society”
One of my favorite parts actually the just a couple of weeks ago I was reading one of the textbooks, the old textbooks from the mid 1800s that we have in our one room schoolhouse. It was McGuffey”s 5th eclectic reader and I flipped open and page, after page, after page, it’s talking about how important morality is, how important your faith is.
And there’s one particular section that caught my attention and it was an essay called “Religion: The Only Basis of Society”. That just reinforced everything that you guys taught at the internship. Look at the primary sources, everyone in society seems to want to keep this hidden. But back when the textbooks were being used in our history they were letting it out, they said, “No, it’s God that’s the basis for our society and we have to keep it that way.”
Well, and certainly education is one of the emphasis we had in the leader training program. Which for you is super cool that you get to do that, and you get to work with young people, and students, and show them a lot of stuff. And I love the fact that you’re encouraging them with primary source documents, helping them know how to find truth, and not just take what somebody says.
But, Sarah, now let me shift gears a little bit. So, if somebody doesn’t have the background you have, right, if they’re not someone who’s already loving history, and this is part of their job, and it’s what you do. What would you say to someone, maybe a college student right now, someone who’s just graduated high school, someone has just gotten out of college, and they have some time this summer and they’re thinking what they might do. Would this be something you would recommend to someone who may be not be a history lover?
The Really Relevant Things of Our Culture Today
Oh my gosh. Absolutely, yeah. Not only does it talk about history in this internship, but also touches on politics, the really relevant things of our culture today. How to be a Christian in today’s culture, how to stand for truth when it’s really hard. It gives you those * and also gives you such fantastic relationships. It’s been nine months since I’ve been at the internship and I still talk to a lot of the people that I was in contact with there, are a lot of friendships that have been built that are going to last a lifetime. Just being with peers and mentors that just inspire you to be passionate about being a Christian in today’s society even though it’s hard.
And, Sarah, that’s awesome. That’s exactly what we are trying to do, so certainly we would invite all those listening in. And before I let you go, Sarah, I know there’s one thing you are doing now that I think is so cool. So at your museum you recognize there was maybe an unreached market that you suggested to your museum that maybe you all should do something to reach this market. And so you’ve started teaching classes. Would you real quick tell us about that?
Sure thing. Well, I grew up homeschooler and so I always had a heart for the homeschool kiddos. So, I’ve been teaching monthly homeschool history classes, and school history adventures, and they”re different topics. I think one of the coolest things I’ve been able to integrate stories that you guys have told me through the internship program, stories like about Bronco Charlie and how he not only decided that he wanted to fight in the first world war as a really old man, and then he wanted to enlist for the second world war ** a little bit.
Stories about Eisenhower and how God”s providence protected him as a young boy when he was injured to be able to go on and not have an amputated leg and continue to serve our country. That’s where we are today. It’s so cool to be able to inspire those little minds with the history that God has given to our country.
Going Back to the Original Story
Well, I love that you, in the midst of all you’re doing, are using primary sources, going back to the original story. But I love that you’re working at a museum that’s not really explicitly a Christian museum–
–but you’re saying, “Hey, we have history.” Right. You have this original one room schoolhouse that you get to dress up as a schoolteacher. It”s just so fun what you all do. But you expressed to them, “Hey, there’s a chance we have to increase our influence as this “secular museum”.” And they said, “Hey, you’re right. There is an untapped market, this homeschool community.” And they gave you kind of a leeway to reach out and start offering these homeschool classes based on the museum and the site you guys have.
So, it’s so cool what you’ve done and, certainly, it’s been great getting to know you and seeing how God has used you over these last nine months. But so fun connecting at the leaders training program. That’s one of the reasons we wanted to bring you back and let you share some of your story. Because I think there’s probably so many other young people out there, even some of them listening right now. Maybe there’s some parents and grandparents thinking, “That could be my kid, that could be their story.”
And so we wouldn’t you to come share this for other people, so maybe they could get an idea for their young person. Anyway, Sarah, thanks so much for being with us today. We really appreciate it.
It’s been my pleasure. Thanks so much, Tim.
Using Opportunities to Change Lives
Love what you’re doing. Love that you are using the opportunity you have at the museum to make a difference in so many people’s lives. Thanks for being with us we really appreciate it.
Back now with Rick Green and David Barton. Guys, this is just another one of the cool testimonies we have. We literally could spend days just interviewing so many of these students who are part of the leadership training program. And hearing the testimonies of how they’re taking the information they learned and using it to make a difference in their real life.
For many of them they’re already out of college. Several are in college and there’s crazy incredible stories happening there. But really across the board, whether it’s someone about to go to college, in college, or out of college, we’re hearing amazing testimonies of how this impacted their life.
WallBuilders Leadership Training Gets Remarkable Results, Part 2
What I really love about this so much is I see them come out with such confidence. They come out with a real– they feel like they”ve got a mastery of stuff and they become bolder and really strong with it. And so what they’re sharing, and what they’re doing, and what they’re able to take back, it”s like they feel like they’ve got a mastery of it. And it makes such a difference with that confidence level with what they’re doing.
There are some future testimonials and positive results waiting to happen. There’s a lot of folks out there that want to come to this leadership training program. Go to WallBuilders.com today. You can find out more. It’s happening soon, so you better apply quick because these are going to fill up super fast. It”s an incredible opportunity. Check it out today at WallBuilders.com. We sure appreciate you listening to WallBuilders Live.
What museum does Sarah, from today’s program, work at? I want to go there!
Love Wallbuilders & enjoyed the program today & yesterday!
Linda (homeschooling mom)