Guest / Limited Access /

This article originally appeared in the August 30, 1974, issue of Christianity Today.

When he assumed the vice-presidency ten months ago, Gerald R. Ford told newspaper reporters that his faith "is a personal thing. It's not something one shouts from the housetops or wears on his sleeve. For me, my religious feeling is a deep personal faith I rely on for guidance from my God." Now that he is President, Ford is still reluctant to publicize his faith—but he's not about to hide it, either.

Faced with uncertainties and conflicting reports about his status in the week preceding Richard Nixon's resignation, Ford continued his regular routine, which included a prayer meeting with two of his close friends in the House of Representatives—Albert Quie, a Minnesota Republican, and John Rhodes, House Republican leader, who is from Arizona (the fourth member of the group, former defense secretary Melvin Laird, was not present). Questioned by reporters who were convinced it was a political strategy session, Ford said the prayer meeting was "a very quiet, much off-the-record group." He reportedly assured his three friends that if he were to become President, the meetings—which have been held at 11 a.m. every Wednesday for several months—would continue.

There were other signs of Ford's quiet faith. At the swearing-in ceremony his left hand rested on a family Bible open at Proverbs 3:5-6, one of the new President's favorite Scripture passages and one that he reportedly repeats nightly as a prayer. On his first Sunday as President, Ford attended Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill (Episcopal), the Fords' family church in the Washington area. (Ford is the nation's tenth Episcopal president.) The Ford family arrived at the Alexandria, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedPew Surprised by How Many Americans Want Religion Back in Politics
Pew Surprised by How Many Americans Want Religion Back in Politics
Fresh stats on who thinks churches should endorse candidates, whether homosexual behavior is a sin, and has it gotten harder to be an evangelical.
TrendingDeconversion: Some Thoughts on Bart Campolo’s Departure from Christianity
Deconversion: Some Thoughts on Bart Campolo’s Departure from Christianity
Bart Campolo's departure from Christianity–some reflections about faith and (our) families.
Editor's PickPowers in the Hood
Powers in the Hood
It takes more than good intentions to do urban ministry—it requires spiritual armor.
Comments
Christianity Today
Gerald Ford: Prayer and a Quiet Faith
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

December 2006

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.