Former Stow Councilman Urges Christians to 'Wake Up'
by Ron Cammel

(Stow) - The timing of a new book's recent release amazes the author, longtime Stow resident Bob Parrish.

Over the past 25 years, Parrish rewrote a book he published in 1963. The new version of "The Destiny of Freedom: Wake Up America!" was shipped to him and a Stow bookstore on Sept. 12, the day after the terrorist attack.

Considering unexpected delays from WinePress Publishing, Parrish calls it "God's timing."

The book discusses Parrish's concerns for the United States and claims people have become complacent about the dangers of potential crises and a "crumbling" of the nation's foundations.

Parrish said the book is all the more relevant now.

The book is directed toward Christians and provides some basic Christian messages as answers to contemporary problems.

Parrish said his goal in his writing is to "challenge the people of God." He said the book addresses living as a citizen of the country, but it is mainly focused on the Christian church.

"I put the primary responsibility for the destiny of freedom on the church," he said.

Freedom, Parrish said, has two forms: "responsible" freedom vs. "absolute do-as-you-please" freedom.

"That's were the battle goes on. Which one will prevail determines the destiny of America," Parrish said.

He calls Christians to promote responsible freedom.

Some of his suggestions include getting involved in civic and government affairs.

Parrish himself has been involved. The retired Goodyear engineering writer served on Stow City Council in the 1970s. Over the past 30 years or so he has written many letters to the editor. He helped in the campaign of John F. Kennedy and talked with former state Sen. Oliver Ocasek about Parrish's first book. Long ago he was a member of the American Civil Liberties Union, though he disagrees with the organization's stands now.

In the book he urges Christians to vote, he says a third political party is needed and he encourages urban and educational renewal.

But the book talks more about devotional living and faith than about politics and specific issues.

"No matter how bad things get, God is in control. That's a matter of faith, obviously," Parish said.

Parrish stresses "the Micah 6:8 mandate," referring to a verse in the Bible which says simply to "do justly, love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God."

He emphasizes prayer as a necessary part of living as a Christian.

"The ultimate solution is not in politics, but in prayer," he said. "As we pray and care for one another ? things begin to turn around."

He tells the story of a prayer meeting that started at his work place years ago, thanks to the efforts of one person. He said the twice-monthly meeting had a big impact on people.

One chapter in the book talks about the Lighthouse Movement. Parrish describes the movement as an effort to affect every neighborhood and workplace with praying, caring and sharing.

"It's pretty amazing what an ordinary person can do," he said.