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Chuck Baldwin
Baldwin's official 2008 election portrait
Personal details
Charles Obadiah Baldwin

(1952-05-03) May 3, 1952 (age 71)
La Porte, Indiana, U.S.
Political party American Independent Party (2015–present)
Other political
Republican (1980–2000;
Constitution (2000–2011)
Democratic (before 1980)
Connie Kay Cole
(m. 1973)
Children 3
Alma mater Liberty University
Christian Bible College

Charles Obadiah Baldwin (born May 3, 1952) is an American right-wing politician, radio host, and founder-former pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. As of January 2011 he was pastor of Liberty Fellowship in Kalispell, Montana. He was the presidential nominee of the Constitution Party for the 2008 U.S. presidential election and had previously been its nominee for vice president in 2004. He hosts a daily one-hour radio program, Chuck Baldwin Live, and writes a daily editorial column carried on its website, as well as on VDare. He is a former editor of

As a Republican Party member, Baldwin was state chairman of the Florida Moral Majority in the 1980s. However, during the 2000 campaign of Republican George W. Bush for U.S. president, Baldwin left the party and began a long period of criticism of Bush. Baldwin endorsed U.S. Representative Ron Paul for the 2008 Republican nomination for president, and Paul in turn endorsed Baldwin for the presidency in the 2008 general election. He identifies as an anti-Zionist, believing that Zionism is the main threat to the U.S. He writes that Zionists control the media, "the mainstream Christian religion, and the U.S. government" and that Zionism is responsible for the ills of U.S. society and culture.

The Southern Poverty Law Center identifies Baldwin as part of the antigovernment movement.

Family and education

Baldwin's father, Edwin J. "Ed" Baldwin, was born on March 1, 1907, in Lake City, Michigan, to Zora Mary Baldwin (1889–1973) and Arthur Baldwin (1881–1962), a farmer, carpenter, and construction foreman. The family moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, before 1910, after which Ed's four siblings Ruth, Nina, Arthur (Bud), and Eugene (Gene) were born. Ed grew up to marry Sarah L. Baldwin, became a master welder, and was loyal to the Teamsters union and the Democratic Party.

In response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the three brothers volunteered for World War II on December 8, 1941. At this time, Sarah left Ed. After the war, Ed left Arkansas and found work in La Porte, Indiana (where he lived until his death in early 1993); he was the only one of the Baldwin clan (also including his in-laws) not to remain a lifelong Arkansan. In 1947, while in poor health, Ed "gave his heart to the Lord" in a salvation experience, and reportedly never drank again. Ed had remarried to Ruth M. Baldwin (née Couch) (1912-1997), and conducted a successful volunteer chaplaincy in La Porte County Jail, Indiana State Prison, and other northern Indiana prisons for 35 years; he was regarded as an effective soulwinner and as having a special ministry to black inmates. Ed's life story was dramatized for radio by Pacific Garden Mission for its "Unshackled!" series.

Ed's son, Charles "Chuck" Baldwin, was born in La Porte, Indiana, in La Porte County, on May 3, 1952, to him and his second wife, Ruth. Baldwin graduated from La Porte High School in 1971 and attended Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan, for two years. He met Connie Kay Cole there and married her on June 2, 1973. Though he originally had planned on a career in law enforcement, Baldwin felt called to evangelistic ministry; he moved to the South, and enrolled in, and graduated with a Bible diploma from, the Thomas Road Bible Institute (now the Liberty Bible Institute at Liberty University). He received unaccredited bachelor's and master's degrees in theology through correspondence programs from Christian Bible College of Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Baldwin has received two honorary doctor of divinity degrees, from Christian Bible College and from Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, Florida.

On June 22, 1975, Chuck and Connie Baldwin and four other individuals held the first meeting of what would become the Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida; Baldwin was the founding pastor. According to the SPLC, "He preached an anti-gay, fundamentalist gospel, and the church grew rapidly. It became a Christian evangelical Mecca, complete with a mock graveyard that honored aborted fetuses." By 1985 the church had gone through repeated building programs and been recognized by President Ronald Reagan for its unusual growth and influence.

Political activity

Prior to joining the Republican Party in 1980, Baldwin had been a registered Democrat, like his father. From 1980 to 1984, Baldwin served as Pensacola chairman and then state executive director of the Florida Moral Majority, organized by the Rev. Jerry Falwell. Baldwin helped carry the state twice for Reagan electors; he says he helped Falwell register some 50,000 Christian conservative voters. Baldwin's father, Ed, a lifelong Democrat, expressed grudging admiration for what he saw as Reagan's honesty and courage. In August 1994, Baldwin had a call-in radio show on the Christian Patriot Network.

In 2000, however, Baldwin left the Republican Party on grounds that the Bush–Cheney ticket was too liberal. He saw the two main parties as “two peas in the same pod”. Baldwin has said that many evangelical minds, similarly to ministers in Nazi Germany, had seemingly given George W. Bush "the aura of an American Fuhrer". He considered himself an independent affiliated with the Constitution Party.

At about this time, Baldwin began hosting a local daily one-hour current-events radio program, "Chuck Baldwin Live", which continues today nationwide on the Genesis Communications Network. He writes a semiweekly editorial column carried on its website,, and in several newspapers. He has also appeared on numerous television shows and radio shows, including on MSNBC and CNN, and in churches across the country. He was the keynote speaker for the 50th anniversary of D-Day at Naval Air Station Pensacola. He also appeared on “The Political Cesspool,” a white nationalist radio program. His columns are archived on, a far right website and he has contributed to the antisemitic American Free Press website.

In 2006, Baldwin said his only organizational memberships were in his church, the Constitution Party, Gun Owners of America, and the National Rifle Association.

2004 vice presidential campaign

In the 2004 presidential election, Baldwin was the running mate of Michael Peroutka of Maryland and was the candidate for U.S. vice president on the Constitution Party ticket, the Alaskan Independence Party ticket, and other tickets and qualified write-in slots in 42 states. The two ran on a platform of "For God, Family, and the Republic". The Peroutka–Baldwin campaign publicly spoke out against women in the military and the Iraq War, and emphasized the Bible, traditional family values, and the need for Constitutionally limited government. According to Political Research Associates, "Peroutka’s 2004 failed presidential campaign was well-known for touting conspiratorial claims".

The party joined with the American Independent Party, the Independent American Party and the Constitution Party to endorse Peroutka–Baldwin as their 2004 presidential ticket.

Peroutka was also endorsed by many paleoconservatives, the Alaskan Independence Party, the League of the South (accepted by Peroutka at its 2004 national convention), the Southern Party of Georgia, Samuel T. Francis, Alex Jones, Howard Phillips, and Taki Theodoracopulos. Pat Buchanan also stated there was a chance he would vote for Peroutka, counting them as "a Buchananite party", but eventually endorsed Bush. The ticket came in fifth with 143,630 votes (0.12%) and spent $728,221, somewhat less per vote than either George W. Bush or John Kerry. It was the only third party to increase its share of the vote in 2004.

2008 presidential campaign

Chuck Baldwin by Gage Skidmore
Baldwin speaking at an event in Reno, Nevada.

Baldwin's vice presidential run, and Peroutka's withdrawal from the national Constitution Party, led to active 2006 speculation that Baldwin would seek the presidential nomination in 2008. Baldwin responded in October that "I have learned to never say never, but I have no desire to run. [It] would require several 'miraculous' signs of reassurance that, frankly, I cannot see happening. However, I am always open to God's will." He repeated this stance through March 2008.

Baldwin announced on April 10, two weeks before the national convention was held in Kansas City, Missouri, that he would make himself available for the party's nomination at the convention, while "not 'running,'" but continuing to seek God's will. A Nolan Chart writer conveyed speculation that Baldwin's availability may have been responsive to the sudden candidacy of former ambassador Alan Keyes, who strongly favored the Iraq War. Baldwin, a noninterventionist, admitted others "have urged me to place my name in nomination". In a convention speech, party founder Howard Phillips endorsed Baldwin and controversially referred to Keyes as a neoconservative and a too-recent Republican.

Baldwin was nominated on April 26, 2008, after what was described as the most contentious battle in the party's 16-year history. He received 383.8 votes, ahead of Keyes, who drew 125.7 votes from delegates; Keyes had abandoned the Republicans for the Constitution Party (one month before the Constitution Party convention), much as Baldwin had done in 2000. Party members such as national chairman Jim Clymer said Baldwin's stands were more in line with party thinking. Baldwin asked the convention to nominate bankruptcy attorney Darrell Castle of Tennessee as his running mate, and this request was honored.

After Ron Paul withdrew from the Republican campaign in June, he remained neutral about making a presidential endorsement. On September 10, Paul held a National Press Club conference at which Baldwin, Green Party nominee Cynthia McKinney, and independent candidate Ralph Nader all agreed on four principles—quickly ending the Iraq War, protecting privacy and civil liberties, stopping increases in the national debt, and investigating the Federal Reserve—and on their opposition to the Democratic and Republican parties ignoring these issues. Paul's advice at the conference was to vote for whichever third-party candidate one has the most affinity to, because "we must maximize the total votes of those rejecting the two major candidates." However, on September 22, 2008, Paul stated his neutrality was "due to my respect and friendship and support from both the Constitution and Libertarian Party members ... and I'm a ten-term Republican congressman. It is not against the law to participate in more than one political party." Paul then gave his endorsement to Baldwin: "Unsolicited advice from the Libertarian Party candidate ... has [persuaded] me to reject my neutral stance in the November election. I'm supporting Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate." Paul later clarified that though he would vote for Baldwin, he recognized the diversity of his support base and could not bind anyone's conscience. A former Paul primary backer, Houston term limits pioneer Clymer Wright, also contributed to the Baldwin campaign.

Baldwin wrote specifically against the candidacies of Barack Obama and John McCain, and those of vice-presidential nominees Sarah Palin and Joe Biden. In his campaign, he said that the September 11 terrorist attacks might have been an “inside job,” attached Republicans for not eliminating federal departments, called for closing of the Education and Energy departments of the Federal Government and the IRS and Federal Reserve, and called for the U.S. to withdraw from the United Nations, "a sinister organization run by Marxists, socialists and communists".

Baldwin received 199,314 votes, 0.15% of the popular vote, putting him in fifth place, while Paul and Peroutka polled 2% in Montana.

Move to Montana: Liberty Fellowship and the American Redoubt

In 2010, Baldwin retired from his position as pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church and announced his intention to move with his extended family to Montana, because he believed God had told him that the mountain states were the "tip of the spear in the freedom fight". In March 2011, he wrote an article in support of the American Redoubt strategic relocation movement originated by novelist and blogger James Wesley Rawles. This plan designates five western states (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, eastern Oregon, and eastern Washington) as a safe haven for conservative Christians. In a June 9, 2011 article, Baldwin outlined his reasons for choosing the Flathead Valley of western Montana for his family's home. He cited Montana's freedom-loving people, its recognition of the right to keep and bear arms, and a feeling of strong conviction, following prayer: "“We know there’s a fight coming. We know there is a line being drawn in the sand, and we want to be in the right place. The good ground is right here in Montana,”

He established a new church in Montana, the Liberty Fellowship, based in the Kalispell area, where congregants have included survivalist Randy Weaver and neo-Nazi activist April Gaede. Gaede described on the Stormfront website how Baldwin's sermons move her to tears. Buzzfeed describes the church as "an anti-government, anti-globalism church... that serves as a beacon for the extreme political right — a mix of constitutionalists, militia members, and separatists".

In 2011, Baldwin spoke at a survivalist expo in the Flathead Valley, hosted by Flathead Liberty Bell, an organization led by former militia leader David Burgert, alongside Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the right-wing Oath Keepers movement.

In December 2019, Rawles listed Baldwin first in a list of "key leaders and promoters of the American Redoubt movement".

2012 campaign for lieutenant governor

In November, 2011, Republican Montana gubernatorial candidate Bob Fanning selected Chuck Baldwin as his running mate. Baldwin withdrew his candidacy for lieutenant governor on February 12, 2012, several months before the June primary.

2012 presidential nomination

In July 2012, the Reform Party of the United States' Kansas affiliate nominated Baldwin as its presidential candidate, though Andre Barnett was the national candidate. Baldwin received 5,017 votes, or 0.43% of the total popular vote in Kansas.

Second Amendment Pastors, Oath Keepers

In January 2013, Baldwin launched a network of Second Amendment Pastors, which resists the registration of firearms.

Also in 2013, Baldwin became the national chaplain of the anti-government Oath Keepers group.

In 2014, he gave a sermon at an armed stand-off between anti-government activists led by Cliven Bundy and federal agents at Bundy's ranch in Nevada.

The Covid pandemic

Although he told congregants that he believed Covid-19 to be real, Baldwin preached that Federal and state public health measures against it were a “pretext for civil tyranny", a form of “Medical martial law" and a “psychological ops campaign against the American people”.

Baldwin resigned from his Oath Keepers position in April 2020, due to the group's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The group pledged support for public health measures such as suspending public gatherings, to which Baldwin responded: “By resorting to gross fearmongering and hyperbole, you have joined the mainstream media and Big Government medical hacks in attacking virtually every constitutionally protected liberty upon which our country was founded."

Early in the pandemic, he committed to holding an in-person Easter gathering in defiance of the state governor's prohibition, saying "Am I now going to allow a bunch of misguided physicians and government bureaucrats tell me that I can no longer serve God the way he has called me to serve him? If I were to do so, I would be less than a Christian.” His YouTube channel hosted a viral video in April 2020 alleging federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be artificially inflating the recorded number of coronavirus deaths.

Baldwin called Anthony Fauci a "Big Pharma fascist" in 2020.

Personal interests

In his spare time, Baldwin enjoys hunting, recreational fishing, and watching the Green Bay Packers. Among his favorite movies are The Passion of the Christ and Gods and Generals, stating that the latter "has the power to change the hearts of millions of people who disdain the Old Confederacy, who misunderstand Southern slavery, and who hold Christianity in contempt".

See also

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