A Tea Party activist elected as Kentucky’s first African-American lieutenant governor told students at a Baptist university that Christians fearful of the Trump administration are getting a taste of how many conservatives felt under eight years of President Obama.
Hampton, a member of Eleventh Street Missionary Baptist Church in Bowling Green, Ky., said that fear motivated her both spiritually and politically. “Number one, it drove me to Christ,” she said. “And, number two, it took me out of my apathy and got me involved, and here I am as lieutenant governor.”
“I think maybe God’s trying to tell us something,” Hampton said. “Maybe it’s the other half of the country’s turn, and I hope they will harness that fear … instead of going out and destroying things.”
Hampton, the first African American to be elected to statewide office in Kentucky and one of just a handful of black women on the national level to identify with the Tea Party movement, condemned acts of violence in protests surrounding Trump’s inauguration.
“As a Tea Party activist, I want to point out that we never destroyed property,” she said. “We never burned anything. In fact, we cleaned up after ourselves.”
Hampton said political dissent is inevitable no matter which party is in control. “We don’t march in lockstep,” she said. “Nobody does. No group of people does, no matter what others will say, but I would say to the other side what do you do with disagreement is the question.”
“I hope they will harness their fear, as I did, and recognize that, again, there’s no need to be fearful if you have God in your life,” she said.
Her message to the protestors who engaged in violence and vandalism on Inauguration Day: “I understand, because I was fearful, too, once upon a time, but I learned there’s nothing to fear. There really isn’t. God’s in charge. God’s got this.”
Hampton, a military veteran who worked 19 years in the corrugated packaging industry before running for office for the first time in 2014, said she believes God had a hand in her selection as Gov. Matt Bevin’s running mate.
Hampton said she had planned to support another candidate in the Republican primary and was going to announce it at a scheduled fundraiser, but she couldn’t attend because she got a cold and lost her voice.
“I completely lost my voice, and I still remember how mad I was that I could not go to that fundraiser and pledge my support to Jamie Comer,” she recalled. “It was shortly after that when Matt Bevin called and asked me to be his running mate. I think when I lost my voice that was God saying: ‘Would you just slow down, Missy? I’ve got other plans for you.’”
“I know I’m not here of my own volition,” Hampton said.
Founded by Baptists in 1906, Campbellsville University was affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention until 2014. In 2015 the school formalized a partnership with the American Baptist Churches of Indiana/Kentucky.