Clarifying Sarah Palin's church affiliation

There continues to be confusion and misinformation about vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s church affiliation. I stand by what I wrote in my previous post about Palin, and I now have additional information to confirm it. In a comment on his own post Brian Fulthorp questioned what I wrote; the following is adapted and expanded from my reply to Brian.

Brian is wrong to suggest that Wasilla Bible Church is part of the Assemblies of God. That would have been surprising since there was already Wasilla Assembly of God in a city of less than 5,000 in the 1970s. The Assemblies of God Directory confirms what I thought by listing only Wasilla Assembly of God within a five mile radius of zip code 99654 – and also confirms that Juneau Christian Centre is Assemblies of God.

Wikipedia currently says the following, but it keeps changing:

Palin was originally baptized as a Roman Catholic, but her parents switched to the Wasilla Assembly of God, a Pentecostal church, where she was rebaptized at age 12 or 13.[123] When she is in the capital, she attends Juneau Christian Center,[124] another Assemblies of God church. Her current home church in Wasilla is The Church on the Rock,[125] an independent congregation.[126] Although initial reports described her as the first Pentecostal ever named to a major party’s presidential ticket, Palin describes herself as a non-denominational Christian.[127] The National Catholic Reporter described her as a “post-denominational” Christian.[128]

But in fact this statement from The Church on the Rock shows that Wikipedia is wrong about her current home church, and I was right:

In regards to Governor Palin being a member or attending Church on the Rock, this is a statement about her church involvement. Before running for Governor of Alaska she frequently attended Church on the Rock for approximately one year. Since that time she has visited on occasion and now attends Wasilla Bible Church with her family. Wasilla Bible Church is a life giving church that has blessed our community. Governor Palin is a wonderful Christian woman with outstanding leadership qualities. Our prayers are with the Governor and her family.

In Christ,

Pastor David Pepper

Wasilla Assembly of God has also made a statement about Palin, of which the following is an extract:

Governor Sarah Palin did attend Wasilla Assembly of God since the time she was a teen ager. She and her family were a part of the church up until 2002. Since that time she has maintained a friendship with Wasilla Assembly of God and has attended various conferences and special meetings here. This June, the Governor spoke at the graduation service of our School of Ministry, Master’s Commission Wasilla Alaska.

I can’t find any statement about Palin from Wasilla Bible Church. But I did find the following from the Boston Herald, which also confirms that stray moose are a problem in the town:

“I’m elated,” said Larry Kroon, pastor of Wasilla Bible Church, where the Palins worship. “Her heart for her friends and her heart for God is powerful.”

Meanwhile Time Magazine confirms my information and puts an interesting perspective on the church scene in Wasilla:

“We like to call this the Bible Belt of Alaska,” says Cheryl Metiva, head of the local chamber of commerce. Churches proliferate in Wasilla today, and among the largest and most influential is the Wasilla Bible Church, where the Palins worship.

6 thoughts on “Clarifying Sarah Palin's church affiliation

  1. I note that Wikipedia has within three hours corrected the error I note above. The section on Palin’s religion now reads:

    Palin was originally baptized as a Roman Catholic, but her parents switched to the Wasilla Assembly of God, a Pentecostal church, where she was rebaptized at age 12 or 13.[119][120] When she is in the capital, she attends Juneau Christian Center,[121] another Assemblies of God church. Her current home church in Wasilla is The Wasilla Bible Church,[122] an independent congregation.[123] Although initial reports described her as the first Pentecostal ever named to a major party’s presidential ticket, Palin describes herself as a non-denominational Christian.[124] The National Catholic Reporter described her as a “post-denominational” Christian.[125]

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  3. I believe that Senator Obama sat in the church from which Rev Write preached his hatred for this country and many other things for 20 years and claimed this man was his mentor.
    Senator Obama lied about hearing these sermons till he was caught and had to change his story.

    There is a huge difference in that and one guest in a church she attends giving one speach that was just prior to Governor Palin being chosen as Senator Mc Cain’s VP pick.

    This is not her opinion and she heard him speak once.
    We all hear things we don’t believe but in a few days after hearing him she was put into a whirl wind campaign situation.

    We can not address every speach we have ever heard but we certainly can address the speaches and sermons we have heard for 20 years and condem them.

    What Sarah Palin needs to do is to condem the speach she heard a short time before her being nominated as the VP pick and state that she will not ever again attend that church if the pastor continues to stand by his claim that he will have this man speak there again.

  4. For everyone who thinks they know what went on at Wasilla Bible Church August 17th when David Brickner spoke at both services, if you weren’t there I suggest you listen to the audio file or read the transcript in full (both on the church website (www.wasillabible.org/sermons), and also look at what Brickner has to say for himself at http://www.jewsforjesus.org/blog/20080909. And I can speak with authority on this because I was there.

  5. Chandra, thanks for being my correspondent in Wasilla. I have no argument about what was said at the Bible Church on 17th August. But I would be interested in your opinion more generally of what I have said about Wasilla, a place I had not heard of until the Sarah Palin story broke.

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