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The Religious Affiliation of U.S. Congressman
Rep. Mike Pence
Mike Pence is a Protestant who appears to be a member of a little known and possibly loosely affiliated denomination, many of whose congregations go by the name "Community Church."
From the official biography on the Congressional website of Mike Pence (http://mikepence.house.gov/Biography/; v. 26 May 2005): "Mike and his wife Karen have three children and reside in Columbus, Indiana. When Congress is in session, the Pence family lives in Arlington, Virginia. Mike describes himself as 'a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.'" Currently checking into whether Pence attends Community Church of Greenwood in Greenwood, Indiana (http://www.ccgonline.org/). From: Nancy Voris, "Political Aspirations" in The Daily Journal (Johnson County, Indiana), 13 September 2005 (http://www.thejournalnet.com/main.asp?FromHome=1&TypeID=1&ArticleID=46026&SectionID=41):
Justin Lankford... interned with congressman Mike Pence, who attends his church. He was one of 700 students chosen to attend the Invitational Academic Workshop at West Point... He also has gained leadership skills as a vocalist at Community Church of Greenwood. On mission trips to Haiti and South America, Lankford assisted in the dental clinic, supervised a pharmacy and helped purify water and build an orphanage.
The Community Church of Greenwood has the same statement of beliefs as the Church of the Savior (Lexington, Kentucky), the Community Church of Mooresville (Indiana), the MacArthur Park Church of God (San Antonio, Texas), and the Mountain Park Community Church (Phoenix, Arizona). These churches identify themselves as "non-denominational."
The official website of the Community Church of Greenwood even uses the phrase "Community Church" alone to identify itself in a description that seems to describe the policy of a broader denomination rather than a single congregation (http://www.ccgonline.org/v4/main_what_we_believe.asp; viewed 4 November 2005):
Our Purpose Statement
Community Church exists to glorify God by bringing believers to maturity in Christ through worship, evangelism, discipleship, ministry and fellowship within the context of the family.
- Evangelism: The spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ will be a commitment of every ministry and member of Community Church.
- Worship: At Community Church we gather in God's presence to celebrate Christ and through His Holy Spirit seek to comfort those who are hurting, encourage those who are searching and offer assistance to those who open their hearts to God.
- Discipleship: Discipleship at Community Church will promote members' understanding of God's Word and biblical principles through a lifelong course of study to produce growth toward Christian maturity and preparation for ministry.
- Ministry: Members of Community Church will reach out in love as Christ's ministers to all at home or abroad who have needs or require healing.
- Fellowship: Fellowship at Community Church will provide an environment to assist members in establishing and maintaining Christ-like relationships and God-directed families.
Community Church seeks to address three basic needs in every believer: to experience God through worship, to study the Word and learn to apply it to everyday life situations, and to be trained for outreach according to his or her spiritual gifts. The fruit which each believer then bears is ministry.
Consistent with the teaching of Ephesians 4, pastors and teachers shepherd the flock and equip believers for ministry so that each part of the body is fully prepared to contribute to the good of the whole. Our theology of ministry is reflected in our format of activities, the architecture of our building, and the selection and organization of our pastoral team.
Using Google.com (4 November 2005), an unusually high number of hits (261 hits) occur when one searches for the name "Mike Pence" and the phrase "Community Church." 94% of these hits do NOT include the word "Greenwood," which is the name of Pence's home church, so these pages are not simply reporting the name of Pence's home congregation. This number is high compared to the number of hits for similar searches done for the names of other U.S. Representatives from Indiana who served along with Pence in the 109th Congress: Peter J. Visclosky (21), Chris Chocola (29), Mark Edward Souder (12), Stephen E. Buyer (3), John N. Hostettler (9), Mike Sodrel (16), Dan Burton (145). (Burton is a Stone-Campbellite, hence the high hit count for this type of seach.)
Webpage created 4 November 2005. Last modified 4 November 2005.
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