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. When she is in the capital, she attends Juneau Christian Center, another Assemblies of God church. Her current home church in Wasilla is The Church on the Rock, an independent congregation. 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. The National Catholic Reporter described her as a “post-denominational” Christian.
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.
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.