Religion of American Presidents: Church Affiliation of Each!


Religion by NEWTONSTEIN at MINISTERS-BEST-FRIEND.com

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Presidents & Political Leaders have PUBLIC & PROVATES BELIEFS!




Denomination #-Pres %-Pres

Episcopalian 9 20% Presby. Reformed 9 20% Unitarian 5 11% Methodist 5 11% Baptist 4 9% Disc. of Chri 3 6% Dutch Reformed 2 4.5% Quaker 2 4.5% Congregational 2 4.5% Unafilliated 2 4.5% Rom. Catholic 1 2% 24.5% 0.1 Jehovah's Wit. 1 2% 0.6% 6.0 Evangel-Bible 1 2% 25.0% Uni Chur of Chri 1 2% TOTAL 44 100% 57.0%

Keep in mind that in the table above, the % of the U.S. population for religious groups are current figures. Religious groups have had much different proportions at various time in U.S. history.

One of the most over-represented religious groups among U.S. presidents is Unitarianism. Despite merging with Universalism in the 1960s, the combined proportion of Unitarian Universalists in the U.S. population is just 0.2% of the population (one in every 500 Americans). Yet there have been 4 Unitarian presidents.

Another over-represented religious group among U.S. presidents is Dutch Reformed, by virtue of having two U.S. presidents, yet having only a small number of people left in the country who identify themselves as Reformed. The contemporary heir to the Dutch Reformed churches is the "Reformed Church in America," which has about 300,000 members in the U.S. and Canada.

(Alternatively, one might count only a single president as Dutch Reformed, if Theodore Roosevelt is counted as an Episcopalian -- sources differ on this subject. Even just one Dutch Reformed president would constitute statistical over-representation.) After that, Disciples of Christ, Episcopalians, and Quakers have also had representation in the White House far outstripping their proportion of the U.S. population.

On the other end of the scale, the most under-represented religious group is Catholicism, which has had only one U.S. president (John F. Kennedy), despite making up 25% of the current U.S. population. Also under-represented are Baptists, whose proportion of the U.S. population (18%) is twice their proportion of U.S. presidents (9.5%).

Major religious groups in the U.S. which have never had a U.S. president include: > > Full-Gospel (about 20.0 %); > > Lutherans (about 3% of the U.S. population); > > Fundamental (about 3%) > > Jews (about 2% of the U.S. population); > > Latter-day Saints (2%); > > Churches of Christ (2%). > > Muslims (approx. 1 to 1.5%); > > Eastern Orthodox (approx. 0.5%); and



Which President was Associated with Which Denomination: Officially




The following designations are 'Official Affiliations'. In some cases their was little or no commitment, affection or affiliation and it other cases it was 'Doctrinal Belief' only will no active participation with a group.

Additionally, many were raised in one group, switched or married into another, and perhaps later in life became a serious participant of a different group.

*State Church of Virginia

[1] George Washington [Attended different groups during life, but attended NO CHURCH after leaving public office [2] Thomas Jefferson - A Devout Unitarian, but no Congregational was within hundreds of miles [3] James Madison [4] James Monroe - Never mentioned religion [5] William Henry Harrison [6] John Tyler [7] Zachary Taylor

*The State Church of Virginia was the Church of England: The Anglican Church. After the Revolutionary War, the Anglican Church became the Episcopalian.

Episcopalian
[1 / 8] Franklin Pierce [2 / 9] Chester A. Arthur [3 / 10] Franklin Delano Roosevelt [4 / 11] Gerald Ford

Presbyterian
[1] Andrew Jackson - Became member after leaving Public Office [2] James Knox Polk * [3] Ulysses S Grant * [4] Rutherford B. Hayes * Joined after leaving office [5] James Buchanan [6] Grover Cleveland [7] Benjamin Harrison [8] Woodrow Wilson [9] Ronald Reagan - Joined after leaving office [10] Eisenhower - Only President Baptized a Christian while in Office!

Unitarian
[1] John Adams [2] Thomas Jefferson [Raised Anglican, Became Unitarian] [3] John Quincy Adams [4] Millard Fillmore [5] William Howard Taft

Methodist

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
[1] James A. Garfield [2] Lyndon B. Johnson [3] Ronald Reagan

Unaffiliated
[1] Abraham Lincoln [2] Andrew Johnson

Dutch Reformed
[1] Martin Van Buren [2] Theodore Roosevelt *

Quaker
[1] Herbert Hoover [2] Richard M. Nixon

Congregationalist
[1] Calvin Coolidge

Catholic
[1] John F. Kennedy

Jehovah's Witnesses
[1] Dwight D. Eisenhower was raised JW, left movement after high school

River Brethren
[1] Dwight D. Eisenhower *

United Church of Christ
[1] Barak Hussein Obama [Raised Muslim, became Christian later]

Religious in Name Only
James Monroe - His religious views are least known of all presidents William Henry Harrison John Tyler Zachary Taylor Andrew Johnson Ulysses S. Grant Rutherford B. Hayes Chester Arthur




Which Presidents Changed Deniominations?




President Religion

George Washington Episcopalian Washington never attended after leaving public office John Adams Congregationalist (raised); Unitarian

Thomas Jefferson - Episcopalian; later unitarian/rationalist

James Madison - Episcopalian (deist)

James Monroe - Episcopalian (deist)

John Quincy Adams - Unitarian

Andrew Jackson - Presbyterian

Martin Van Buren Dutch Reformed

William Henry Harrison Episcopalian

John Tyler Episcopalian (deist)

James Knox Polk Presbyterian; Methodist

Zachary Taylor Episcopalian

Millard Fillmore - Unitarian

Franklin Pierce - Episcopalian

James Buchanan - Presbyterian

Abraham Lincoln raised Baptist; Bitter Atheist (deist) in middle years, perhaps deist as President

Andrew Johnson Christian (no specific denomination)

Ulysses S Grant Presbyterian; Methodist

Rutherford B. Hayes Presbyterian; Methodist

James A. Garfield Disciples of Christ [Preacher in]

Chester A. Arthur Episcopalian

Grover Cleveland Presbyterian

Benjamin Harrison Presbyterian

Grover Cleveland Presbyterian

William McKinley Methodist

Theodore Roosevelt Dutch Reformed; Episcopalian

William Howard Taft Unitarian

Woodrow Wilson Presbyterian

Warren G. Harding Baptist

Calvin Coolidge Congregationalist

Herbert Hoover Quaker

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Episcopalian

Harry S. Truman Southern Baptist

Dwight D. Eisenhower River Brethren; Jehovah's Witnesses; finally a Presbyterian

John F. Kennedy Catholic

Lyndon B. Johnson Disciples of Christ

Richard M. Nixon Quaker

Gerald Ford Episcopalian

Jimmy Carter Baptist (former Southern Baptist)

Ronald Reagan Disciples of Christ; Presbyterian

George H. W. Bush Episcopalian Methodist

William Jefferson Clinton Southern Baptist

George W. Bush Methodist, Evangelical-Bible




Some General Notes of each President's Religion




George Washington – Episcopalian[9] Main article: George Washington and religion

John Adams – Unitarian[6], originally Congregationalist The Adams es were originally members of Congregational churches in New England. By 1800, all but one Congregationalist church in Boston had Unitarian preachers teaching the strict unity of God, the subordinate nature of Christ, and salvation by character.

Adams himself preferred Unitarian preachers, but he was opposed to Joseph Priestley's sympathies with the French Revolution, and would attend other churches if the only nearby Congregational/Unitarian one was composed of followers of Priestley.[10]

Thomas Jefferson – Episcopalian,[6] Jefferson's views are considered very close to Unitarian. The Famous UUs website[11] says: "Like many others of his time (he died just one year after the founding of institutional Unitarianism in America), Jefferson was a Unitarian in theology, though not in church membership.

He never joined a Unitarian congregation: there were none near his home in Virginia during his lifetime. He regularly attended Joseph Priestley's Pennsylvania church when he was nearby, and said that Priestley's theology was his own, and there is no doubt Priestley should be identified as Unitarian. Jefferson remained a member of the Episcopal congregation near his home, but removed himself from those available to become godparents, because he was not sufficiently in agreement with the Trinitarian theology. His work, the Jefferson Bible, was Unitarian in theology..."

James Madison – Episcopalian[6] Although Madison tried to keep a low profile in regards to religion, he seemed to hold religious opinions, like many of his contemporaries, that were closer to deism or Unitarianism in theology than conventional Christianity. He was raised in the Church of England and attended Episcopal services, despite his personal disputes with the theology.[12]

James Monroe – Episcopalian Monroe was raised in a family that belonged to the Church of England when it was the state church in Virginia, and as an adult attended Episcopal churches.[13] "When it comes to Monroe's ...thoughts on religion", Bliss Isely comments in his The Presidents: Men of Faith, "less is known than that of any other President."

Monroe burned much of his correspondence with his wife, and no letters survive in which he discusses his religious beliefs; nor did his friends, family or associates write about his beliefs. Letters that do survive, such as ones written on the occasion of the death of his son, contain no discussion of religion.[13] Franklin Steiner categorized Monroe among "Presidents Whose Religious Views Are Doubtful".[14] Some sources classify Monroe as a deist.[13]

John Quincy Adams – Unitarian[15] Adam's religious views shifted over the course of his life. In college and early adulthood he preferred trinitarian theology, and from 1818 to 1848 he served as vice president of the American Bible Society.[16] However as he grew older his views became more typically Unitarian, though he rejected the more rationalist views of Joseph Priestley and the Transcendentalists.[16]

He was a founding member of the First Unitarian Church of Washington (D.C.).[16] However he regularly attended Presbyterian and Episcopal services as well.[16] Towards the end of his life, he wrote, "I reverence God as my creator. As creator of the world. I reverence him with holy fear. I venerate Jesus Christ as my redeemer; and, as far as I can understand, the redeemer of the world. But this belief is dark and dubious."[16]

Andrew Jackson – Presbyterian[6] He became a member of the Presbyterian Church about a year after retiring the presidency

Martin Van Buren – Dutch Reformed 17] Van Buren is reported to have attended the Dutch Reformed church in his home town of Kinderhook, New York 18], and while in Washington, services at St. John's Lafayette Square 19]. However, according to Steiner there is little evidence that he ever formally joined a church.

Steiner states that the sole original source to claim that he did join a church – in Hudson, New York – is Vernon B. Hampton, in Religious Background of the White House (Boston: Christopher Publishing House, 1932), the basis of which Steiner was unable to verify. 14] His funeral was held at the Reformed Dutch Church in Kinderhook with burial in a family plot at the nearby church cemetery[20] Steiner lists Van Buren among those "presidents whose religious views are doubtful".[14]

William Henry Harrison – Episcopalian[21] Harrison was a vestryman of Christ Episcopal Church in Cincinnati, Ohio after resigning his military commission in 1814.[22]

Harrison died just one month after his inauguration. At Harrison's funeral, the rector at St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. said Harrison had bought a Bible one day after his inauguration and had planned to become a communicant. Steiner inferred from this account that Harrison had not been a member of any church.[23]

John Tyler – Episcopalian[17] Franklin Steiner categorized Tyler among "Presidents Whose Religious Views Are Doubtful".[14] Although affiliated with the Episcopal church, he did not take "a denominational approach to God."[24] Tyler was a strong supporter of religious tolerance and separation of church and state.

James K. Polk – Methodist[25] Polk came from a Presbyterian upbringing but was not baptized as a child, due to a dispute with the local Presbyterian minister in rural North Carolina. Polk's father and grandfather were Deists, and the minister refused to baptize James unless his father affirmed Christianity, which he would not do.[26][27]

a conversion experience at a Methodist camp meeting when he was thirty-eight, and thereafter considered himself Methodist. Nevertheless he continued to attend Presbyterian services with his wife, though he went to the local Methodist chapel when she was ill or out of town. On his deathbed, he summoned the Rev. John B. McFerrin, who had converted him years before, to baptize him.

Zachary Taylor – nominally EpiscopalianAlthough raised an Episcopalian and married to a devout Episcopalian, he never became a full communicant member in the church.

Millard Fillmore – Unitarian[29]

Franklin Pierce – no specific affiliation (later Episcopalian)[14] Franklin Steiner quotes a personal communication from Roy Nichols (then engaged in writing a biography of Pierce) in which the latter characterized Pierce's faith as "decidedly orthodox". However Pierce did not consistently attend churches of one specific denomination.[14] Four years after leaving office, he was baptized, confirmed, and became a regular communicant in St. Paul's Episcopal Church, in Concord, NH.[14]

James Buchanan – Presbyterian[30] Buchanan, raised a Presbyterian, attended and supported various churches throughout his life. He joined the Presbyterian Church after retiring the presidency.[14]

Abraham Lincoln – no affiliation[6] Main article: Abraham Lincoln and religion Life before the presidency For much of his life, Lincoln was undoubtedly Deist (see [1], [2]). In his younger days he openly challenged orthodox religions, but as he matured and became a candidate for public office, he kept his Deist views more to himself, and would sometimes attend Presbyterian services with his wife Mary Todd Lincoln.

He loved to read the Bible, and even quoted from it, but he almost never made reference to Jesus, and is not known to have ever indicated a belief in the divinity of Jesus.

Evidence against Lincoln's ever being Christian includes offerings from two of Lincoln's most intimate friends, Ward Hill Lamon and William H. Herndon. Both Herndon and Lamon published biographies of their former colleague after his assassination relating their personal recollections of him. Each denied Lincoln's adherence to Christianity and characterized his religious beliefs as deist or atheist.

Lincoln's religion at the time of his death is a matter about which there is more disagreement. A number of Christian pastors, writing months and even years after Lincoln's assassination, claimed to have witnessed a late-life conversion by Lincoln to Protestant Christianity. Some pastors date a conversion following the death of his son Eddie in 1850, and some following the death of his son Willie in 1862, and some later than that. These accounts are hard to substantiate and historians consider most of them to be apocryphal.

One such account is an entry in the memory book The Lincoln Memorial Album—Immortelles (edited by Osborn H. Oldroyd, 1882, New York: G.W. Carleton & Co., p. 366) attributed to An Illinois clergyman (unnamed) which reads "When I left Springfield I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian.

But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ. Yes, I do love Jesus." Other entries in the memory book are attributed by name. See a discussion of this story in They Never Said It, by Paul F. Boller & John George, (Oxford Univ. Press, 1989, p. 91).

Rev. Dr. Phineas D. Gurley, pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian church in Washington D.C., which Lincoln attended with his wife when he attended any church, never claimed a conversion.

The only evidence we have is an affidavit signed more than sixty years later by Mrs. Sidney I. Lauck, then a very old woman. In her affidavit signed under oath in Essex County, New Jersey, February 15, 1928, she said,

"After Mr. Lincoln's death, Dr. Gurley told me that Mr. Lincoln had made all the necessary arrangements with him and the Session of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church to be received into the membership of the said church, by confession of his faith in Christ, on the Easter Sunday following the Friday night when Mr. Lincoln was assassinated."

Mrs. Lauck was, she said, about thirty years of age at the time of the assassination. John Remsburg, President of the American Secular Union, argued against claims of Lincoln's conversion in his book Six Historic Americans (1906). He cites several of Lincoln's close associates:

The man who stood nearest to President Lincoln at Washington – nearer than any clergyman or newspaper correspondent – was his private secretary, Col. John G. Nicolay. In a letter dated May 27, 1865, Colonel Nicolay says: "Mr. Lincoln did not, to my knowledge, in any way change his religious ideas, opinions, or beliefs from the time he left Springfield to the day of his death."

After his assassination Mrs. Lincoln said: "Mr. Lincoln had no hope and no faith in the usual acceptance of these words."

His lifelong friend and executor, Judge David Davis, affirmed the same: "He had no faith in the Christian sense of the term."

His biographer, Colonel Lamon, intimately acquainted with him in Illinois, and with him during all the years that he lived in Washington, says: "Never in all that time did he let fall from his lips or his pen an expression which remotely implied the slightest faith in Jesus as the son of God and the Savior of men." [4]

Andrew Johnson – no affiliation [31][14] Some sources refer to Johnson having Baptist parents.[citation needed] He accompanied his wife Eliza McCardle Johnson to Methodist services sometimes, belonged to no church himself, and sometimes attended Catholic services—remarking favorably that there was no reserved seating.[32]

Accused of being an infidel, he replied: "As for my religion, it is the doctrine of the Bible, as taught and practiced by Jesus Christ."[33]

Ulysses S. Grant – Presbyterian, Methodist[6] Grant was never baptized into any church, though he accompanied his wife Julia Grant to Methodist services. Many sources list his religious affiliation as Methodist based on a Methodist minister's account of a deathbed conversion. He did leave a note for his wife in which he hoped to meet her again in a better world.

Rutherford B. Hayes – No specific affiliation Reports of Hayes's religion are confused, with some report stating that he was raised Presbyterian, others Methodist.[34] In general, however, it is agreed that he held himself to be a Christian, but of no specific church.[35]

In his 1890 May 17 diary entry, he states: "Writing a few words for Mohonk Negro Conference, I find myself using the word Christian. I am not a subscriber to any creed. I belong to no church. But in a sense, satisfactory to myself and believed by me to be important, I try to be a Christian, or rather I want to be a Christian and to help do Christian work."[36] Hayes' wife, Lucy, was a Methodist, a temperance advocate, and deeply opposed to slavery. Their children were baptized in the Methodist Church.

James Garfield – Disciples of Christ[37] He was baptized at age eighteen.[37] Through his twenties, Garfield preached and held revival meetings, though he was never formally a minister within the church.[37]

Chester A. Arthur – Episcopalian[38] His father was a Baptist preacher.[38] Upon his wife's death in 1880, he commissioned a memorial window for the south transept of St. John's, Lafayette Square, visible from the White House and lighted from within at his behest.[39]

Grover Cleveland – Presbyterian[40]

Benjamin Harrison – Presbyterian[41]

Harrison became a church elder, and taught Sunday school. Franklin Steiner categorized Harrison as the first President who was unquestionably a communicant in an orthodox Church at the time he was elected.[14]

Grover Cleveland – see 22

William McKinley – Methodist[42]

Early in life, he planned to become a Methodist minister.[43] James Rusling, a McKinley supporter, related a story that McKinley had addressed a church delegation and had stated that one of the objectives of the Spanish-American War was "to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them".[44]

Recent historians have judged this account unreliable, especially in light of implausible [vague] statements Rusling made about Lincoln's religion.[45][46]

McKinley is the only president to include exclusively Christian language in his Thanksgiving Day proclamation.[47]

Theodore Roosevelt – Dutch Reformed[48] Roosevelt always stated that he was Dutch Reformed; however, he attended Episcopal churches where there was no Reformed church nearby. (His second wife Edith was Episcopal from birth.)[48] As there was no Dutch Reformed church in Oyster Bay, New York, he attended Christ Church Oyster Bay when in residence there, and it was in that church that his funeral was held.[48] His mother was Presbyterian and as a child he attended Presbyterian churches with her.[49]

William Howard Taft – Unitarian[50] Before becoming president, Taft was offered the presidency of Yale University, at that time affiliated with the Congregationalist Church; Taft turned the post down, saying, "I do not believe in the divinity of Christ."[51] Taft's beliefs were the subject of some controversy, and in 1908 he found it necessary to refute a rumor that he was an atheist.[4]

Woodrow Wilson – Presbyterian[52] Wilson's father was a Presbyterian minister and professor of theology.[52] Prior to being Governor of New Jersey and President of the United States, Wilson served as President of Princeton University, which was at the time affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.[52]

Warren G. Harding – Baptist[53]

Calvin Coolidge – Congregationalist[54]

Herbert Hoover – Quaker[55] As Quakers customarily do not swear oaths, it was expected that Hoover would affirm the oath of office, and most sources state that he did so.[56][57] However, a Washington Post article dated February 27, 1929 stated that he planned to swear, rather than affirm, the oath.[58]

Franklin D. Roosevelt – Episcopalian[59]

Harry S. Truman – Baptist[60]

Dwight D. Eisenhower – Presbyterian[61] Eisenhower's religious upbringing is the subject of some controversy, due to the conversion of his parents to the "Bible Student" movement, the forerunner of the Jehovah's Witnesses, in the late 1890s; originally, the family belonged to the River Brethren, a Mennonite sept.[61] According to the Eisenhower Presidential Library, there is no evidence that Eisenhower participated in this group, and there are records that show he attended Sunday school at a Brethren church.[61]

Until he became president, Eisenhower had no formal church affiliation, a circumstance he attributed to the frequent moves demanded of an Army officer. He was baptized, confirmed, and became a communicant in the Presbyterian church in a single ceremony February 1, 1953, just 12 days after his first inauguration, the only president to undergo any of these rites while in office.[61]

Eisenhower was instrumental in the addition of the words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954 (an act highly promoted by the Knights of Columbus), and the 1956 adoption of "In God We Trust" as the motto of the USA, and its 1957 introduction on paper currency. He composed a prayer for his first inauguration, began his cabinet meetings with silent prayer, and met frequently with a wide range of religious leaders while in office.[61]

His presidential library includes an inter-denominational chapel in which he, his wife Mamie, and his firstborn son (who died in childhood) are buried.

John F. Kennedy – Roman Catholic[62] Kennedy is the first and thus far only Catholic president.

Lyndon Johnson – Disciples of Christ[63]

Richard Nixon – Quaker[64] Contrary to Quaker custom, Nixon swore the oath of office at both of his inaugurations.[65]

Gerald R. Ford – Episcopalian[66]

Jimmy Carter – Baptist[67], born again In 2000, Carter left the Southern Baptist Convention, disagreeing over the role of women in society. He continued to teach Sunday School and serve as a deacon in his local Baptist Church.

Ronald Reagan – Presbyterian[68] Reagan's father was Roman Catholic[69], but Reagan was raised in his mother's Disciples of Christ denomination and was baptized there on September 21, 1922[70]. Nancy and Ronald Reagan were married in the Disciples of Christ "Little Brown Church" in Studio City, California on March 4, 1952.

Beginning in 1963 Reagan generally attended Presbyterian church services at Bel-Air Presbyterian Church, Bel-Air, California. During his presidency he rarely attended church services. He became an official member of Bel-Air Presbyterian after leaving the Presidency. Reagan stated that he considered himself a "born-again Christian".[68]

George H. W. Bush – Episcopalian[71]

Bill Clinton – Baptist[72] Clinton, during his presidency, attended a Methodist church in Washington along with his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is Methodist from childhood.[73]

George W. Bush – Methodist[74] Bush was raised in the Episcopal Church but converted to Methodism upon his marriage in 1977, and became an evangelical after becoming an alcoholic at age 41.

Barak Hussein Obama was raised Muslim and attended a Muslim School in Indonesiia, converting to Christiany sometime duriung or after college. Was baptized, joined and married in the United Church of Christ!







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