East Texas Churches and Politics

by Larry Little

As election day approaches, political signs can be seen from East Texas roadways, candidates are making stops in East Texas, and political sermons are being preached in East Texas churches. "I talk with them about what God is pleased with. I talk with them about what a candidate should be and should do," says Pastor C. E. Jeffrey.

Pastor Jeffery's philosophy is shared by other East Texas ministers. "I think the role the church plays in politics is informing the church and getting the church united in what they believe," says Pastor Jeremy Yancey.

Churches in East Texas hire pastors to minister to them on Sunday and through the week, but does their job include giving political advice? "I think it's right. I think it's necessary for a pastor to talk to his congregation about what is best and what God is pleased with and what's best for the community," says Pastor Jeffrey. "I hope the church sways the vote without being unethical. The church needs to be a changing in our culture," says Pastor Yancey.

Alcohol sales will be on the ballot in Angelina County this November, and many county churches are rallying their congregations to vote.

Though many pastors are encouraging and advising their church members, most prefer to leave the actual ballot choices up to the voters. "The church isn't going to tell them how to vote, but we are going to encourage them to take their vote and what they believe in their heart, and what they think is biblical, and vote that way," says Pastor Yancey.