Oklahoma Congressman to Preach in Lake Zurich Flag after Sept. 11 Leads to Watts Speaking at Crane's Home Church

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Byline: Kate Grusich Daily Herald Staff Writer

Lake Zurich pastor James Scudder is no stranger to Washington politicians, having led prayers before the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.

However, the roles will be reversed Sunday. Instead of Scudder doing the preaching, a high-profile congressman will stand at the pulpit.

Those heading to Quentin Road Bible Baptist Church in Lake Zurich will hear a sermon led by U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts, Jr., an Oklahoma Republican. Watts will be joined by Quentin church parishioner U.S. Rep. Phil Crane, a Wauconda Republican who helped arrange the visit.

"We are very excited about it," Scudder said. "We knew that he (Watts) liked to preach, so we asked him to come to the church. He said he was honored to come."

The arrangement evolved after Scudder discovered that a flag he passed out after the atrocities of Sept. 11, one that included Psalm 23 on the cloth, adorned Watt's Washington office. With a little help from Crane, the two men met to discuss the Lake Zurich visit.

Watts, who serves as House Republican Conference Chairman, has a close bond with religion. In his spare time, he travels as a preacher. He also introduced a faith-based bill that passed the House last year and is being discussed in the Senate.

The proposal would increase charitable giving, provide the working poor with new options to save for their future and help form new partnerships between the government and community and faith-based organizations in helping the poor. …