The former President tells how his Christian faith shaped his presidency—and how the presidency tested his Christian faith.

Introduction and editing by Wesley G. PippertWesley G. Pippert is congressional reporter for United Press International in Washington, D. C. He is the author of Faith at the Top (Cook, 1973) and The Spiritual Journey of Jimmy Carter (Macmillan, 1978.

Last November, following the publication of Jimmy Carter’s memoirs (Keeping Faith, Bantam),CHRISTIANITY TODAYeditors met with the former President in an exclusive interview. In it President Carter reveals many previously unpublished insights into his personal faith in God and his relationships with world leaders.
Wes Pippert, United Press International White House correspondent during the Carter administration and an authority on the former President, writes the introduction to the interview, which he edited for accuracy.

Shortly after he became president, Jimmy Carter, in one of his many ceremonial duties, welcomed Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Christians to the White House. According to Coptic tradition, Shenouda is the 117th pope to follow Saint Mark, who they believe founded the Coptic church in Egypt.

As the two leaders talked in the Oval Office, Shenouda told the President about the new congregations Coptic Christians had organized in the United States. Flashing the famous Carter smile, the President replied: “You’re establishing several new churches; very good. That’s a good evangelism program. I think Saint Mark would have been pleased.”

In the later years of his Christian life, Jimmy Carter has been an aggressive evangelist, and in a lengthy interview with CHRISTIANITY TODAY (excerpts of which follow) he gave intimate accounts of perhaps some of the ...

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