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Mr. Pence and the Anglicans

Mr. Pence and the Anglicans
Evangelical Vice President Attends Falls Church Anglican


By Harry M. Covert
March 2, 2017

It's a mighty difficult thing to be incognito as a well-known personage attending Sunday church services.

This is most especially true if you are the 48th Vice President of the United States, accompanied by wife Karen.

It is well known the Pences are deeply devout Evangelical Christians. Mike Pence calls himself an "Evangelical Catholic". He was raised a Roman Catholic, but later underwent an evangelical conversion experience. Despite their heavy schedules, they are regular churchgoers.

Last Sunday, February 26, and the two previous Lord's Days, the Vice President and Second Lady have attended services at The Falls Church Anglican in Arlington, Virginia.

Their ten-car motorcade left their vice presidential home at Number One Observatory Circle on the northeast grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., and took a ten-minute ride to the temporary home of The Falls Church Anglican at 6565 Arlington Boulevard, Falls Church, Virginia.

A ten-member Secret Service detail was discreet and dignified, providing security for the Vice President.

Parishioners were enthusiastic and welcoming. The Pences participated in the worship service conducted by Rev. Samuel Ferguson and listened intently to a homily on the subject of holiness.

Ferguson's sermon title was "Call to be Holy" from First Peter 13:25.

"The protocol is extremely important," said Ferguson. "We want him to have anonymity."

Many members of the church have known the Pences since the Vice President served in Congress, from 2001 to 2012. The Pences resided in Arlington during that time.

There was no time for the Vice President and Mrs. Pence to socialize with members. They departed the service about ten minutes before the benediction for security reasons, which is normal practice.

The Rev. Ferguson did not meet or speak with the Vice President or his wife. Nor did the church staff know that he would attend until ten minutes prior to their arrival.

The Falls Church Anglican Church has a membership of 2,000, with regular attendance of approximately 1,300. The church is active in traditional worship. The church originally was The Falls Church and part of the Episcopal Church of the United States.

Falls Church Anglicandivided over severe doctrinal disagreements with TECUSA. The differences culminated in court suits over property. Courts ruled The Falls Church remained to its Episcopal members and trustees.

The Falls Church Anglican dates its history before the American Revolution. The church is an active parish "where we respect but don't politicize politics," said Reverend Ferguson.

"We pray regularly for the President, the Vice President, the governor of the Commonwealth and we do so by name. We also pray for our men and women."

The Falls Church parish voted unanimously in 2006 to leave The Episcopal Church. In 2012, a Fairfax County, Virginia Circuit Court ruled the church forfeit its property and assets to the original body.

In 2015, the Anglican body bought property where a new church will be built in Falls Church.

Harry Covert is a freelance journalist residing in Northern Va. He writes for the Tentacle and other news outlets

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