WASHINGTON – The words of Psalm 16:1 are located inside a prayer room of the United States Capitol: “Preserve me, O God, for in thee do I put my trust.” A similar prayer was spoken on Capitol Hill today (Sept. 25) as Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear opened the afternoon legislative session for the House of Representatives.
“May You grant that this body rule in a way that directs the men, women and children of this country toward Your goodness, and enables them to respond in thankfulness to You,” said Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in the Raleigh-Durham, N.C., area. “May we perceive the love that You have for us, and may that translate into love for one another, especially the most vulnerable.”
Greear was invited to open the session in prayer at the request of Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.). Walker is a member of Mercy Hill Church in Greensboro, N.C., and a former Southern Baptist pastor.
“[Greear] believes the deeper we dive into the extravagant love of Christ, the more our lives will be filled with unquenchable joy, reckless generosity and audacious faith,” Walker said in a brief speech on the House floor.
“I deeply respect what Pastor J.D. has done for the faith and his boldness to always stand up for what is right,” Walker said. “It is an honor to host him here in Washington, D.C. today and I look forward to his continued leadership as head of the Southern Baptist Convention.”
Mercy Hill, an outgrowth of The Summit’s church planting efforts, was recently identified as the fastest-growing Southern Baptist church and named among the top fastest growing evangelical churches in the nation, according to a study by Outreach Magazine and LifeWay Christian Resources.
Mercy Hill’s pastor, Andrew Hopper, told the Biblical Recorder he is grateful for Walker’s work in Washington.
“It’s incredible to see Rep. Walker use the gifts he has been given by God, both inside and outside the church,” Hopper said. “That is something we push all our people toward. Whether you are a teacher, nurse or politician, our gifts were given to us to be given to others.”
Greear’s trip to the U.S. Capitol included meetings with multiple legislators, including Walker, Rep. David Price (D-N.C.), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and others.
Written by Baptist Press, the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.