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.“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” 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). ...1
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