Joe Turnham: Current Events, Faith, Inspiration, and Opinions
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Joe Turnham essentially has two full-time jobs -- he runs a business and is chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party. But he has found time during the past six years to write a book that he says was ordained by a figure with more power than any politician.

Turnham, 49, recently released "Leading from our Knees," a Christian's perspective on being a leader and on situations that leaders often find themselves in.

While he does not direct the book at anyone in the Legislature, his experience in that body has obviously affected what he has written.

He writes about the first lobbyist in the Bible, whether people should pray for their own victory, and about taking gifts and becoming obligated to earthly "unscrupulous persons."

"When we allow unscrupulous persons and institutions to give us tribute and rewards for what we are already called to do in God's name, we can become obligated to the wrong persons for the wrong reasons," Turnham writes.

The book has daily devotions on leadership with biblical scripture and a prayer for each day. He said the book could also be used as a desktop reference guide with an index on leaders in the Bible and on various subjects.

There is a leadership lesson from all 66 books of the Bible, and Turnham says the book references essentially every leader from the Bible.

He writes about those he says are the first lobbyists in the Bible. They appear in the book of Ezra, when they are hired to try to stop the building of the temple. Jewish leaders did not let the opposition stop them.

"Great projects big and small require leaders of faith who can persevere through the adversity of hired and organized opposition," Turnham writes in his book. "You may have to survive the work of lobbyists who work against you."

Working on and off in partisan politics for 20 years can warp people, Turnham said.

The book helped him avoid some of those pressures.

"It was a great outlet," he said.

Turnham has been elected to three terms as chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party. He has also twice been his party's nominee for the 3rd Congressional District, losing to now-U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Saks, by 3,800 votes in 2002.

The chairman said he started his book after his loss to Rogers. He said he became sidetracked and the work on the book slowed. But about 18 months ago, Turnham began working on the book again.

"There was so much going on with me and with the party," he said.

He would write from 4 to 8 a.m. on weekdays and on weekends. Instead of grabbing dinner when he was out of town, Turnham said he would return to his hotel room and work on the book.

Turnham said he has observed leaders at all levels. He has met about a dozen heads of state and prime ministers, has viewed presidential campaigns and has been a superdelegate with the Democratic National Committee in 1996 and 2008.

Turnham said he has been placed in many situations as a leader and has viewed others in their predicaments.

People can find parallels to their situation in scripture. Turnham said some of the politicians he has admired have left office in disgrace, but have found redemption and purpose, which he said is not unlike David, Solomon, Paul, Peter and others.

"God chose a lot of inadequate people to do great things," he said.

Turnham said he does not know if he would have been able to write the book without his loss in 2002 and without his shortcomings and failures.

"I don't know if I would have written this book and written this book with passion if I had won in 2002," he said.

Turnham realizes some people might criticize him for writing the book, saying he does not measure up to what is inside its pages.

"They're right," he said.

He acknowledged that he does not live up to it every day.

Turnham left a copy of the book on the desk of Alabama Republican Party Chairman Mike Hubbard, who is also the minority leader in the Alabama House of Representatives. Both men are from Auburn.

Hubbard said Turnham wrote a nice note in the front. He said he read several of the lessons and said the book is good.

"I like Joe personally. He's just wrong on his politics -- right on his religion and wrong on his politics," Hubbard said. "He's a friend and a good person."

When talking about the book, Turnham said "praying for leaders and praying for leaders you don't agree with may be one of the most selfless things you can do every day."

Turnham does not mention a political party, political figures or current events. He says there is not a political agenda and he wanted the book to be timeless.

Turnham is a national board member for Democrats for Life in America. He also has served on boards for several nonprofits.

He is also the son of retired state Rep. Pete Turnham. The author is currently self-employed as a consultant and strategist, where he has worked with Fortune 500 companies and small non-profits.

Turnham has more book signings planned, but hosted his first in Richmond, Va., during a meeting of the Association of State Democratic Chairs, which was for state party chairmen, vice chairs, and executive directors.

He said he presented a copy to Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia, a former Catholic missionary and current chairman of the DNC.

Turnham said he was going to be very aggressive in promoting the book, but he said that would not take away from his work with the party.

The book is the "work of a lifetime for me," he said of the venture he considers one of his greatest accomplishments.

People can find out more at Several sample devotionals rotate on the site.

Joe Turnham has gained a national reputation both as a political figure and tier-one consultant to a myriad of clients. Joe’s services are in demand nationally as a consultant, speaker, political advisor and commentator. Click here to learn more about Joe.

Click here to order Joe's book "Leading From Our Knees"