IFAS | Freedom Writer | May/June 1999 | henley.html

Minister resigns to run for Congress

HOUSTON TX The Rev. Wallace Henley told the Freedom Writer that he is resigning his pulpit to run for Congress. Henley was senior pastor of the Encourager Church in Houston. A Republican, he plans to run for the 7th congressional district seat now held by Rep. Bill Archer (R), who is retiring.

Although Henley believes that America "was founded on the Judeo-Christian belief system," he feels that, although other ministers have done it, it is "inappropriate" for an active minister to serve in Congress. Henley says it "is appropriate for churches to inform parishioners of the Biblical perspective on public policy concerns, but churches must not act in a partisan way."

In his interview with Freedom Writer, Henley stated that "churches as institutions must not become political entities, or coalesce into political parties." He defined "churches" as "a corporate gathering of individuals." Henley says he doesn't believe in theocracy, but in pluralism.

Before entering the ministry, Rev. Henley served as an aide in the White House during the Nixon administration from 1970-1973. He said he worked on educational matters under George Shultz, and in the White House speaker's bureau under Harry Dent.

© 1999 Institute for First Amendment Studies, Inc.