Kelley’s devotion to the state house
State Representative Trey Kelley (R-Cedartown) said complaints about lines from a devotional his father Doyle Kelley made in the state house last week are unwarranted.
Kelley said his father, who has acted as Chaplain of the Day in year’s past for the State House, delivered a long devotional on “having a healthy heart for Jesus” and that overall he received praise and well-wishes from both sides of the political divide in the chamber during the March 26 session.
The honor to serve as the House Chaplain came just a year after the football coach, former baseball coach and pastor suffered from a heart attack. Joining in the ceremonies earlier in the week were his mother, brother, wife and other loved ones at the Capitol with Trey Kelley, who is serving as this year’s Majority Whip.
It was Doyle Kelley’s fifth time serving as Chaplain for the State House.
“It was a great day for me and my family,” Trey Kelley said.
Then late on the night of March 27, Kelley received word about the complaint made by Democratic State Rep. Josh McLaurin of Sandy Springs to House Speaker David Ralston’s legal counsel in a letter that Doyle Kelley’s words to the chamber might have violated a separation of Church and State.
According to reporting from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s reporting last week, the freshman member challenged whether Kelley’s father went too far near the end of a devotional on Tuesday based on the following lines:
“The command is there: Do all in the name of Jesus Christ. People always ask me, ‘Why are there so many lost people in the state of Georgia?’
“The statistics came out that there’s 70 percent of the people in the state of Georgia that are lost. That are lost. Seventy percent. There are over 10 million people in the state of Georgia. That means there are 7 million people lost.
“Now you want to hear it in Baptist terms: Seven million people that are lost are dying and on their way to Hell. That’s what that means.”
Kelley said in an interview while on break from the March 28 session that the statistics are some his father have used in and out of the pulpit for years and refers to the number of people who don’t claim church membership or religious affiliation (7 out of 10) in a poll.
Those figures were published in year’s past in the Christian Index, a newspaper that is circulated to churches for planning purposes, according to a clarification made by the elder Kelley.
Doyle Kelley did not wish to speak further about the issue.
Along with being the Athletic Director and head football coach for Cedartown High School, Kelley is also the pastor at Worldview Baptist Church.
His son added the statistics had nothing to do with McLaurin’s claim that Doyle Kelley was speaking out about abortion.
Doyle Kelley and his family gathered for a photo in the State House Chamber on Tuesday after he served as Chaplain of the Day.
State Rep. Trey Kelley (from left), his father and local coach and pastor Doyle Kelley, and State House Speaker David Ralston pose together for a photo after Doyle Kelley was Chaplain for the Day.