Sen. Cruz announces presidential bid at Liberty University

(Christian Examiner/SCREEN SHOT)Sen. Ted Cruz delivers the convocation address at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., March 23, 2015 announcing his bid for the 2016 U.S. presidential race, with his wife Heidi and daughters, Carolyn and Catherine.

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (Christian Examiner) -- Sen. Ted Cruz, who tweeted about midnight he would be a GOP contender for the 2016 U.S. presidential race, formally announced his bid at Liberty University before a crowd of thousands of cheering students meeting in convocation today.

Sharing his roots as the son of a progressive Houstonian mom, the first in her family to graduate with a college degree -- and an immigrant father from Cuba who made his way to Austin, Texas via Key West, Florida after fleeing a tortuous regime there -- Cruz spoke of hope and redemption that began with his parents faith first.

(Christian Examiner/SCREEN SHOT)After Sen. Ted Cruz delivers the convocation address at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., March 23, 2015 announcing his bid for the 2016 U.S. presidential race, his wife Heidi and daughters, Carolyn and Catherine, join him on the platform.

"I can tell you in my family there is not a second of doubt, were it not for the transformative love of Christ, I would have been raised without a father in the house," Cruz told the convocation in describing his parent's struggles and his father's life change as a result of an invitation to Clay Road Baptist Church in Austin, Texas. Currently Cruz is a member of Houston's First Baptist Church.

Asking the convocation to "imagine" his parents, himself, and then America – historically, and then currently, with certain ideals and political and social situations, Cruz outlined his hopes and dreams – and goals for the presidency.

"If you're ready to join a grassroots army across this nation ... I believe it is a time for truth; it is a time for liberty," Cruz said.

The Liberty convocation responded enthusiastically, giving several standing ovations and waving flags, before Cruz's wife, Heidi, and his daughters, Caroline and Catherine joined him on the platform.

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