Former Vice President Mike Pence has begun to step toward a 2024 presidential bid in his first speech rallying conservatives around the successes of the Trump-Pence administration.
In South Carolina Thursday, he hit the Biden administration for changing former President Donald Trump’s policies and said that he and the former president made America better.
Of his future, he said, “Over the coming months, I’ll have more to say.”
But at the end of his address, Pence also showed that he remains the nation’s leading political evangelical leader by giving witness to his faith, calling on the nation to follow the direction of God, and emotionally recalling the day he became born again.
It came during his “fireside chat” with approximately 400 pastors at the First Baptist Church of Columbia called together by the Palmetto Family Council.
Politics aside, Pence turned to faith.
“You know, as I’ve traveled all across this country, I’ve become convinced more than ever of two things. My time as vice president and my time in public life. This is a freedom loving nation. And this is a nation of faith. It truly is. The sweetest words I ever heard as I traveled around the country and I heard them almost every day was when someone would reach out, grab a hand, and look at me or my wife and just say, ‘I’m praying for you,’” said the vice president, former Indiana governor and congressman.
Pence also said that the U.S. is “a nation of believers,” and he encouraged people to lean on God. “I believe this is the time when we ought to renew our faith in Him who placed this miracle of democracy on these wilderness shores. Because I say from my heart, God isn’t done with America yet.”
Pence has never shied from discussing faith, but he may have given his most detailed explanation of his path when he told of the day in 1978 at a Christian rally when he “stood up” for Jesus.
Pence told of receiving a letter last year from the youth pastor and new bride who organized the event. They described remembering how disappointed they felt at the event that after a year of planning, rain was threatening.
“In his letter he told me that he, when the Saturday night came, the culminating evening of that youth festival, that it was raining, and he and his young bride walked through the grounds thinking that it had all been for naught. And then he wrote to me that that’s because ‘I didn’t know that a future vice president of the United States would be giving his life to Jesus Christ that night.’ He said ‘I cannot write that without tears,’” said Pence, adding, “and I cannot recite it without it.”
Pence recalled what happened that night. “I remember that night sitting on that hillside. It was like I heard for the first time those words that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever might believe in Him might not perish but have everlasting life. And I stood up, and I walked down … because my heart was broken with gratitude for what had been done for me,” he said.
After he received the letter, Pence said he had a chance to meet the organizer, and he thanked him for the event.
He told him, “Now I know who else to thank for that night in 1978.”
Read this article on The Washington Examiner.