Former Oklahoma County District Attorney Wes Lane has changed his focus from prosecuting criminals to uplifting cities and people in Oklahoma City and the world.
Through the organization he spearheaded in 2008, Salt and Light Leadership Training, influential citizens are given the tools to turn their hearts’ passions into real-life changes. Recently, Lane went to Johannesburg, South Africa, and Abidjan, the Ivory Coast, invited by Christian leaders who want to implement a SALLT group in their cities.
The group takes its name from Matthew 5:13-14, which states “You are the salt of the earth … You are the light of the world …”
“Throughout history, culture has always been influenced not by that single great person but by the network,” Lane said.
“Typically in the Christian realm, if you will, what you find is that you’ve your thing going on, she’s got hers, Bob’s got his, John’s got his and they’re all lovely things. Everybody’s got something. But what we do not do is gather,” he said. Lane said by organizing together, he thinks leaders called by God can “answer a question of how do we do something with unity and love that we cannot do as individuals.”
The idea for an organization of like-minded Christian social reformers was inspired by the work of Londoner William Wilberforce and the Clapham Circle at the beginning of the 19th century. Wilberforce’s group focused on ending slavery in Great Britain. After fighting for more than 20 years toward abolition, Wilberforce died three days after passage of abolition in Great Britain. The group also founded the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
SALLT members hope to do similar work in the modern era. They work in groups to effect change, both spiritual and material. Some of the group’s goals are reducing child abuse, drug abuse and human trafficking, while increasing jobs and generosity.