On Sunday Vice President Mike Pence shared his story of becoming a Christian during a visit to Church by the Glades in South Florida
(VERO BEACH, FLA) At the 10:00 AM service for one of America’s fastest growing evangelical congregations, the second most powerful man in the world entered a packed amphitheater to the roars and cheers of approximately 2000.
Flanked by an entourage of military and secret service agents, Vice President Pence joined the service during the announcements and proceeded to partake in the vibrant Hillsong-style worship before being called to the stage by the churches Lead Pastor David Hughes for an interview about his faith.
During the interview the former Indiana Governor shared his powerful story of what led him to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
Vice President Pence’s testimony:
“I grew up in a wonderful church family, it was church on Sunday morning, it was grave before dinner. But I walked away from that when I was in high-school. I had no interest in faith, I thought it was for other people.
And I went off to a little college in South Indiana and started to attend a Christian fellowship group on the campus. I was invited by some good people to come, I cant remember why I kept going back, it was Tuesday night and they called it “vespers” in a little chapel on campus, but I just found myself encouraged when I went there.
Along the way a young man who was a senior in college at the time and now pastors a large church in Indiana. He was doing exactly what you were talking about people doing with neighbors, I didn't realize it, he had just taken an interest in me, and he was talking to me about faith.
And I got to a point where I said to him, ‘ya know, I’m gonna’, I told him his name is John Gable, I said ‘John, I’ve decided I’m going to go ahead and be Christian.’ I did, I said that. And he had this cross he wore around his neck and this was before everyone could order anything on their phones. I said ‘where’d you get that good cross because I want to go ahead and be Christian now.’
And he said ‘well I got it in a catalogue,’ so I started bothering him, we were in a fraternity together, I started saying, ‘get me that catalogue, I gotta, ya know, order that, because I’ll be wearing it.’ And I’ll never forget the day, its absolutely true, we were in the cafeteria at the fraternity, and I said ‘hey John remember get me that catalogue because I gotta, ya know, I gotta get that.’
And he turned and looked at me and said words to this day he never remembered saying, he looked at me and said, ‘you know you’ve gotta wear it in your heart before you wear it around your neck.’
It hit me, it just hit me, I just, I think I stood there for 10 minutes because I felt like he just kinda pulled the curtain aside and he looked right at me and just said, ‘I see ya, I see ya for what ya, where ya really are.’
And it was a few weeks later, I went to a, what was a great contemporary Christian music festival in Wilmore, Kentucky called Ichthus in 1978, and I heard lots of great singing, just like I heard this morning, and I heard lots of wonderful preaching.
And Saturday night sitting in a light rain I walked down, and not, ya know, not out of anything other than my heart really finally broke, with a deep realization what had happened on the cross, in some infinitesimal way, had happened for me, and I gave my life, and made a personal decision to trust Jesus Christ as my Savior”
Following his testimony Vice President Pence received a standing ovation from what Pastor Hughes, who has led Church by the Glades (CBG) since 1998, called a diverse and multicultural gathering of both Democrats and Republicans. The church also reportedly has illegal immigrants as members.
To get further background on the churches demographics and political climate, TRUNEWS Correspondent Edward Szall spoke to CBG volunteer and parishioner Miri Rodriguez, who was in attendance during the interview.
“I can't speak for the entire congregation, but from today's visit, I felt a warm reception and openness to Mike Pence,” Rodriguez said. “The same we've given to LBGTs, blacks and Latinos as myself.”
Rodriguez, who leads social media customer care for one of the worlds top technology brands, told Edward that she has never agreed completely with every executive order or policy, but she does respect the governments authority.
“I’m an immigrant, a Latino woman, living the American Dream today,” Rodriguez said. “I got myself through school and work for one of the top brands in the world. I'm living proof that this country gives great opportunity to everyone who comes with the intent to embrace it, learn the language, and give back to society.”
Vice President Pence’s attendance didn’t go without controversy however, with the announcement post on Facebook garnering over 1100 comments from church followers, including 99 angry faces, 14 sad faces, and 73 hearts.
“Beyond the congregation, it is no secret that this election brought a great divide in our country and this has created a platform for outspoken opinions that bring anything but unity to our community and church,” Rodriguez said regarding some of the negative backlash.
“Ultimately I believe that I have a voice and influence in my own circle and network and can inspire others through my personal story, not by disrespecting our authorities, whether I agree with them or not.”
Regarding the pastor mentioned in Vice President Pence’s testimony, his full name is Reverend L. John Gable, and he is currently the Senior Pastor of Tabernacle Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis.
On September 14th 2004 while serving as a Congressman for Indiana, Vice President Pence shared the same story in conjunction with delivering a sponsorship speech for Reverend Gable, who he had invited that day as guest chaplain for the opening of the House of Representatives.
Echoing that same even keeled nature present in his 2004 address, Vice President Pence spoke to the CBG audience on the subject of political division.
“What I’ve seen the President do is welcome members of both political parties into the Oval Office since the beginning of this administration,” Vice President Pence said. “Beyond all the political rhetoric I think were going to find a time where as we work together to make the country safe again, as we work together to make the country prosperous again, and as we really continue to advance the interests of the nation, I think were going to see the unity come back.”
“For my house it all really does come down to ‘treat others the way you want to be treated,” Vice President Pence said. “I truly do believe that we have passed through a very difficult time, but I also think its been made difficult by the challenges we've faced at home and abroad, by the struggles in our economy, and as we turn the country around, we turn the country back to the common sense principles that will make us strong again and prosperous again, thats going to forge a new unity in America, and I see it already happening.”
Vice President Pence ended his interview by noting how the prayers of Christians has effected he and President Donald Trump.
“The sweetest words that I or the President ever hear, are across a rope line or as we walk through a public place, someone will reach out earnestly and say ‘I’m praying for you’,” Vice President Pence said. “I just want you to know we all feel it.”
Vice President Pence's parting words:
“That great story in the Bible where Moses began to falter in the midst of a battle, and he had one stand on one side and one stand on the other and hold up his arms. And I just want you to know that on behalf of the President and the First family, and behalf of our little family, we feel your prayers, and we encourage you continue to carry all those who serve in every political party, all the men and women who serve in uniform, in your prayers, and I truly do believe that by God’s grace, the best days for America are yet to come.”