The Tuesday Morning Breakfast Forum is a weekly gathering of mostly progressive citizen-activists. For Leon Threatt, it might as well have been the lion’s den.
The Matthews stood up and defended House Bill 2, the law that pre-empted a Charlotte ordinance on sexual orientation and gender identity, and that most in the room saw as discriminatory.
“I really believe that HB 2 is an honest, fair and legitimate response to the City Council’s overreach (and) putting our women and children in harm’s way,” says Threatt, 58.
Now the former Charlotte police officer is making his second run in the 12th District. In 2014 he lost the GOP primary to Vince Coakley. He says HB2 has helped make him a better candidate.
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“I’m more passionate about the things that are most important,” he says. “Government was created for the very purpose of defending our liberties and freedoms. But the government itself has become the number one threat to our liberties.”
Threatt was born in Monroe and grew up in Greensboro. His parents divorced when he was 6, leaving what he calls a “distressed” household.
“We know what it’s like to have troubled family,” he said.
He joined the Marines after high school, and his 10 years in the service took him to posts from North Carolina to the Pacific. It was there that he made a discovery that would change his life.
“Somebody shared faith with me, and that became a living reality,” Threatt said.
In 1982, he began his public ministry “evangelizing the lost and preaching the uncompromising Word of God” in Okinawa and later at bases stateside. After leaving the Marines in 1987 he moved back to North Carolina.
Starting a church
In Charlotte, Threatt joined the police department. He worked the beat in the Belmont neighborhood and later became a school resource officer at a pair of schools, including West Charlotte High.
Early in his time as a police officer, Threatt began another career.
He and his wife started Christian Faith Assembly, a church on Idlewild Road. They earned advanced degrees online from an Indiana-based divinity school.
Now they serve as co-pastors to the congregation of about 200.
Threatt calls for smaller government and a return to traditional values. He believes the federal government has reached too far in education, regulation and taxes.
He supports school vouchers and tax credits for private schools as well as tax cuts. He opposes same-sex marriage.
Asked the difference between himself and his two GOP rivals, Threatt says experience.
“What makes me different,” he said, “is, number one, I have the life experiences to address these issues and without question I have the leadership to rally people together to solve problems.”
Hometown: Born in Monroe, now lives in Matthews.
Education: International Bible Seminary; BA in Theology; Master’s in Ministry and a Doctorate of Practical Theology from the Master’s School of Divinity.
Family: Wife, Carol; three children.
Job: Pastor, Christian Faith Assembly.
Politics: Ran for 12th District in 2014.
Worth knowing: Likes to ride a Harley-Davidson.