Julaine Appling serves the people of Wisconsin through the Wisconsin Family Council
Andie Dill · Jan 23, 2019
Julaine Appling’s own adoption led her to a passion for marriage, family, and the preservation of life and religious liberty, which in turn led her to leadership of the Wisconsin Family Council and Wisconsin Family Action.
As the president of both organizations, Julaine lobbies and works directly with legislators to promote legislation that will enable fellow believers to “worship God in the freedom of their faith.”
She also stays on top of news developments, interacts with the media, produces radio programs, engages in social media, hosts and produces weekly radio spots for the council, and is a regular guest on other programs.
Because IRS regulations limit how much lobbying, the 501(c)(3) Wisconsin Family Council can do, its sister organization, Wisconsin Family Action, is the advocacy arm. Both organizations, however, have the same vision, the same mission, and the same goal: “to strengthen, preserve, and promote God’s plan for marriage, family, life and religious freedom.”
With her “Wisconsin Family Council hat on,” Julaine partners with churches, encouraging pastors to create relationships with legislators and be involved with the future policies of Wisconsin and the nation. She loves community and the gathering of people together. Every year, the organizations put on between 15 and 20 events around the state, inviting pastors and lay people from local churches to talk about the issues of the day from a Biblical perspective.
“It is so important for pastors to be informed and energized to then go and talk with their local congregations about the current issues of the day from a Biblical perspective,” Julaine says. “I believe today, in the New Testament age, God’s plan is primarily through the local church.”
Every couple of years, Julaine also organizes an event called “Day at the Capital,” when she invites people from all over the state to come to the capitol in Madison and hear various leaders, including legislators, speak on policies and laws from a Christian worldview, and also visit their elected officials in their offices. The day provides a more personal opportunity to be involved in community and state politics.
<p>We need a rededication to building a culture of marriage and family as God designed it.</p>
In keeping with the principle that every life is precious and should be treated with dignity, the Wisconsin Family Council is also part of the Heal Without Harm Coalition, a pro-life group dedicated to promoting ethical research.
“We think it is absolutely wrong to trade or use the body parts and tissues of an aborted baby for research,” Julaine says. “So, the Heal Without Harm Coalition works hard to promote legislation that would respect the dignity of a human child who was just brutally aborted.”
Regardless of which hat she is wearing or which organization she is advocating for, Julaine is passionate about communicating to the residents of Wisconsin that “God’s plan for marriage and family is irreplaceable.”
“We all need to understand that when God’s plan for marriage and family is the dominant institution in a culture, things are generally in a good condition, but when that family unit or those marriages either don’t form or break down, then it sets off a chain of destruction that impacts individuals and the entire society. The biggest issue today should be about marriage and family because as the family goes, so goes our entire society,” she says. “We need a rededication to building a culture of marriage and family as God designed it.”
So, for somebody who describes herself as “single, straight, never married, with no children,” how did Julaine end up devoting her life to marriage, family, the sanctity of life, and the preservation of freedom?
It began with her story of adoption.
At just 5 months old, Julaine was adopted and given a family of her own with Bob and Mary Appling. To this day, she has never found her birth parents, nor has she ever tried to look for them, but, she says, she’s grateful they placed her for adoption.
To Julaine, adoption is a beautiful image of grace.
“In a human sense, adoption is God’s grace at work,” she says. “It is taking a bad situation and making it just about as good as it can possibly be in earthly terms. It is also an image of our spiritual adoption, in that God affords us the opportunity to be called His children and offers us adoption through His Son, Jesus Christ. That is grace. And I’m grateful every day for both my earthly and spiritual adoption.”
Julaine had one brother, who was also adopted.
Looking back on her growing up years, Julaine says she and her brother eventually realized “how blessed we were to be adopted by our parents because that’s how we came to faith in Christ.”
Education was also important to Julaine’s parents, and they made sure their children got a good one. After high school, Julaine attended Bob Jones University, where she earned two degrees in education.
Before joining the Wisconsin Family Council in 1997, Julaine taught at the junior high, high school and college levels and also was the administrator of a Christian school. Today, she says, she is “still an educator, with my classroom being the state of Wisconsin.”
While Julaine is constantly working to keep up with the issues and striving to inform others, she is quick to say that Scripture is the foundation for Wisconsin Family Council, not the latest news.
“Our source and authority in every position we take is the Word of God,” Julaine says. “Whether in principle, direct commandment, or precept, that is where we get our marching orders and our understanding of what is right and wrong and what God’s plan is. So I don’t go to bed at night or wake up in the morning guessing or fretting about what polls say or what way the political winds are going to blow. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt what God’s plan for marriage and family is and that life begins at the moment of conception. I also know how important it is that we protect religious freedom. It’s an honor and very humbling to do this work, but I believe I have the best job in the world.”
Read why Julaine joined Samaritan Ministries here.