TYLER COUNTY, TX (KTRE) – Newly elected State Representative James White heads to Austin tomorrow for a week of what's called 'freshman orientation'. Before he leaves, his hometown church outside Woodville saw him off in prayer.
"My job is to go to Austin and do the best job I can for everybody in East Texas," said James White, District 12 state representative.
Hillister Baptist Church brought community supporters together for a special prayer service Sunday afternoon.
"I believe Austin can corrupt politicians real easy," said Clark Mahoney, Pastor of Hillister Baptist Church.
Mahoney is proud that one of his flock will be representing East Texans, but hopes White can stay grounded, and with God.
White says there's already talk about all kinds of issues, but he says there's only one top priority for his district: jobs.
"That is really job #1 and we really think everything else falls in line after that,"said White.
Immigration is one of those issues falling close in line.
"We need bills similar - probably not exactly like Arizona, but similar to Arizona - that doesn't over-militarize our police, but makes sure it gives ... law enforcement the type of tools that they need to keep our community safe," said White.
With his church and community behind him, White can't wait to get to work with his fellow state reps.
"Excited about how this is going to play out with the revenue shortfall, with the challenges with our education funding, the challenges economically," said White.
His pastor became emotional as they prayed for god's strength and protection for the rookie representative.
"I believe one person can make a difference. I pray James does," said Mahoney.