ERLC to host annual meeting lunch with former VP Mike Pence

INDIANAPOLIS (BP) – Southern Baptists will once again welcome former Vice President Mike Pence to their annual meeting in June. The onetime Republican governor of Indiana will headline a lunch event sponsored by the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission entitled, “Navigating Faith in the Public Square: A Conversation with Mike Pence” at the convention’s annual meeting on June 11 at 11:30 a.m. in Indianapolis.

The conversation between Pence and ERLC President Brent Leatherwood aims to help attendees examine how faith and public service intersect. The ERLC represents Southern Baptists in communicating the ethical positions of Southern Baptist churches to the public and to public officials.

“We live in a loud and chaotic political moment. Because of that, we wanted to create an event that will be both insightful and helpful for pastors and lay leaders about important issues, faithful public service, and how Christians can engage political discourse in a biblical way,” Leatherwood said. “We think a conversation with Vice President Pence in a lunch setting provides the perfect venue for exploring those themes with someone whose career has spanned the intersection of faith and policymaking, while maintaining his character and his faith-formed convictions.”

After two unsuccessful runs for Congress, his hometown voters elected Pence to the first of six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000. During those 12 years in Congress, the self-described evangelical Roman Catholic gained a reputation as a convictional pro-family conservative.

Indiana voters selected Pence as their 50th governor in 2012. Four years later, he was elected vice president of the United States.

As the sitting vice president in June 2018, Pence addressed Southern Baptists gathered in Dallas for the annual meeting. Before his message to Southern Baptists, messengers debated the presence of political figures in the annual meeting’s schedule, but a motion to replace Pence’s presentation with a time of prayer failed. 

During his speech, Pence shared the accomplishments of the Trump-Pence administration. He also thanked Southern Baptists for the “essential and irreplaceable role” they play in America. He particularly commended attendees for how their faith translated into action.

Pence noted that theme once again as he looked toward his conversation with Leatherwood at this June’s annual meeting in Indianapolis.

“The Bible tells us to ‘not grow weary in doing good,’ and I believe this verse has great meaning for Christians living out their faith in the public square,” Vice President Pence said. “It is my great honor and privilege to take part in this event hosted by the ERLC at the Southern Baptist Convention, and I look forward to having this conversation about how we as Christians can use our faith to guide us in our engagement in politics.”

According to the ERLC, Pence and Leatherwood’s conversation will include a discussion of the former vice president’s journey into politics, how pastors can partner with elected officials, and how Southern Baptists can engage with hope in the public square.

Southern Baptists who attended the 2018 annual meeting will remember the large contingent of secret service and extra security protocols present to protect the sitting vice president. According to ERLC Press Secretary Elizabeth Bristow, security protocols for this 2024 event will require attendees to be registered for the event and have their SBC credentials on at all times to participate in the lunch. 

To find more information about “Serving in the Public Square: A Conversation with Mike Pence” and to register for the event, visit The $20 ticket includes a box lunch and free ERLC resources. The event will be held at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.

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