The 43-year-old life-long Alabama citizen Jody Trautwein, also a Leadership Institute graduate, is very active in his community. He’s a father, pastor, former educator and candidate for local office.
“Psalm 11:3 states, ‘If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?’ Our religious liberty is under daily assault and we must fight to protect it,” Jody said.
Jody is an associate pastor at House of Grace Church and an ordained minister by the Fresh Oil Fellowship of Churches International. He also serves as the director of operations for a statewide alliance of pastors, ministry leaders, and marketplace influencers called the Alabama Alliance for Reformation.
“The preservation of faith, family, and financial conservatism directly determines how well we will be able to protect our increasingly eroding freedoms as American citizens,” he said.
“With faith as the cornerstone, the family unit is built squarely on its shoulders,” he said.
“At the core of family must be the fundamental right to life,” Jody said. “Our family values also contain the preservation of traditional marriage between one man and one woman especially in the face of a current legal attack against the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment Act here in Alabama.”
He continued, “I was privileged to serve as the executive director of an Alabama coalition that worked to see this amendment pass in 2006 by a margin of 81 percent to 19 percent.”
In April 2009, Jody took the Leadership Institute’s Campaign Management School.
He especially likes The Laws of the Public Policy Process.
“I have the framed copy of the 45 Laws of the Public Policy Process by Morton Blackwell displayed on our mantel as daily reminders,” he said.
He’s used these laws while on previous campaigns too, be they gubernatorial, city council, state supreme court, state senate, and other state representative races.
He and his wife Sunny and their three-year-old son Joshua live in Helena, Alabama.
“When I think about the future for our three-year-old son and his generation, it evokes the deepest sense of duty I can fathom to battle for the soul of our nation,” he said.
In addition to faith and family, Jody is also a proponent of financial stewardship.
“As a current pastoral staff member and financial manager for two churches, I am responsible for the daily oversight of multi-million dollar budgets and thus, must model fiscal conservative principles every day,” he said.
He continued, “As Americans, we must rein in spending, reduce debt, eliminate waste, create smaller, more efficient governmental systems, and ask three questions of every line item budget expense: Is it Constitutional? Do we need it? Can we afford it?"
As a former teacher, coach, and Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) president at his alma mater, Huffman High School in Birmingham, Alabama, Jody believes parents hold the primary responsibility for training their own children.
“I am in favor of heavy local control with a great deal of parental involvement in the educational process,” he said.
He’s taught at public and private schools at the elementary, middle, and high school levels as well as with college-age students, and even as a church youth pastor.
“Parents and local authorities must no longer allow our God-given responsibility to educate and train our children to be usurped by increasingly bigger government with a desire to indoctrinate with an ideology that is hostile to our founding principles and based upon revisionist history,” he said.
Jody recently lost his primary for state representative in Alabama, but he’s received several accolades for his community involvement. He was honored with a Hidden Hero Award by the Birmingham Mayor’s Office for his work improving the lives of youth and was also voted as one of Birmingham’s 100 Most Influential Men by Woodlawn High School.
“The Leadership Institute has given me the practical knowledge, the tools, and the subsequent confidence that comes from being well-equipped to lead,” Jody said. “Strong problem-solving, leadership, and marketing skills taught at LI have helped me in the operations, outreach, and advocacy sides of ministry.”
When it comes to successful youth, Jody says strong family is pivotal.
“The most pressing issues for young students today all find their common root in one general area: the lack of fully functioning, consistent, loving fathers,” Jody said.
“The breakdown of marriages and the resulting insecurity of family life and structure are tough for kids. The questions swirl in their minds, ‘Will somebody love me? Will somebody lead me? Will somebody believe in me? Will somebody fight for me?’ The National Fatherhood Initiative sites fatherless statistics dating back over 50 years. The numbers do not lie. As fatherlessness increases, so does poverty, promiscuity, poor education, incarceration, and emotional disorders just to name a few.”
In 1995 when Jody was 23 years old and just graduating from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a bachelor’s degree in business management, his father died from a massive heart attack.
“I quickly discovered that God truly was my heavenly Father,” he said, “and then I developed a deep desire to show and tell a generation of young people at my high school alma mater that even though their earthly fathers may not be functioning in their full fathering roles, their heavenly Father loves them, would lead them, believes in them, and fights for them.”
After many years in education, Jody left it to enter full-time ministry.
“I did eventually leave education as a profession because I was able to be an influence only in the lives at that campus. As a full-time pastor, I have the ability and flexibility to reach out to many students at multiple campuses thereby potentially affecting greater societal change,” he said.
Jody has worked through the church, the schools, out on the field, and through public policy to strengthen society.
“I would recommend the Leadership Institute for those currently in office, seeking office, considering candidacy, those working with current elected officials, potential candidates, or those interested in the public policy process,” he said.
Please congratulate Jody Trautwein for receiving LI’s Conservative Leader-In-Training Award.
To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Lauren Day, at Lauren@LeadershipInstitute.org.