Hometown: Hillsdale, Michigan
Family: wife, Susan; 3-year-old son; 11-month-old daughter
Education: bachelor’s in business management and economics and finance from Huntington University
Political experience: previous precinct committeeman
Career: former student ministry worship pastor at Northview Church
Why he’s running: After the U.S. House passed the Equality Act in May 2019, in my conscience, I could not just sit idly by and let that go.
Top priority: freedom for people to choose what’s best for them and their family
What he’s streaming: “West Wing” on Netflix
What do you think needs to be done to improve access to and the affordability of health care?
We’ve got to get to a patient-centered system. The people who are pushing for a state-run health care system, what they fail to see is, the problem is due to government intervention. We need less government, not more. We need price transparency—that creates competition and competition drives down prices. We should also open up the free market and allow health insurance purchases across state lines.
What should be done to address the massive amount of student debt in this country and make college more affordable?
The federal government said we want good-quality education, so they started guaranteeing loans. And now there is no incentive to keep college prices low. There’s more incentive to make it high and give out loans to anyone who wants it. Would an 18-year-old be approved for a $100,000 loan for a Tesla? No, so why is it OK to do that for college? We need to get the government out of the way and make it riskier for banks to issue student loans.
What is your position on trade and tariffs?
I think China is one of the biggest threats we face on an international stage right now. I wouldn’t trust China further than I could throw them. They steal our technology, and they’ve been doing it for years. I’m 100% on board with the president’s tariffs. I do not like tariffs. I think we should have open and fair trade with the world, but we weren’t getting a fair deal with China. Tariffs were a better option than war.
What should be done to address climate change?
I want to see clean air and clean water. I just don’t think we should destroy our economy. It needs to be a measured response. I don’t trust climate-change science as gospel. … We were told in the mid-’90s the world would end by 2010 if we didn’t take drastic measures. That didn’t happen. Let’s be good stewards of our environment.
Music ministry pastor felt compelled to step up
Micah Beckwith didn’t think his life would lead him to music ministry or running for Congress.
And he never pictured himself as a pastor at a megachurch with thousands of parishioners. Growing up in rural Hillsdale, Michigan, the largest local church had only 400 members.
Instead, he assumed he’d go into business with his parents, who marketed and sold ice cream flavors. Ever heard of Moose Tracks? His dad helped create it.
His family exposed him to politics at a young age. His grandma was involved with the Hillsdale Republican women’s group, and his dad volunteered for Republican Pat Robertson’s 1988 presidential bid.
Beckwith said his parents taught him two major lessons: Be a follower of Jesus and love the U.S. Constitution.
While studying business management and economics and finance at Huntington University, he said, he discovered music ministry. That’s also where he met his wife, Susan, who was from Noblesville.
After college, he traveled the country full time to practice music ministry. He can play the drums, bass guitar, piano and banjo.
In 2007, Beckwith married his college sweetheart, and in 2009, took his first role as a pastor with White River Christian Church, focusing on student music ministry.
Until April 27, he worked as student ministry worship pastor at Northview Church in Carmel. He told IBJ he resigned to focus on the campaign.
He’s also launched his own company, Sing Love Ministries, to help churches train the next generation of leaders in music ministry—a trade he was worried was fading.
“Now we work with churches around the country and help them develop their student worship ministry,” he said.
The last four years or so, Beckwith has become more vocal with his political opinions, regularly shooting Facebook Live videos talking about his concerns. One common theme—he’s worried about government taking freedoms away from citizens.
“People really started rallying behind my voice,” Beckwith said.
But he still didn’t think he’d run for office. That changed after May 2019, when the U.S. House approved the Equality Act, which would make it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks, who represents the 5th District, was one of eight Republicans who voted for it.
Beckwith said he has no problems with the LGBTQ community but doesn’t think the federal government should be forcing a religious institution to do anything that would go against its beliefs.
He said he agreed with Brooks 90% of the time, but the Equality Act “was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
“In my conscience, I could not just sit idly by and let that go,” Beckwith said. “We started laying the groundwork” to run against Brooks in the primary.
When Brooks announced in June that she wasn’t seeking reelection, Beckwith quickly jumped in the race, becoming the first Republican to formally launch a campaign.•