Ronald Reagan, a born-again president

By Michael Evans

In 1979, I had the privilege of serving on the executive committee of the two largest evangelical organizations in America that were attempting to unite the nation around traditional family values – the American Coalition for Traditional Values (founded by Dr. Tim LaHaye, and working with 220,000 churches), and Washington for Jesus (which held the largest rallies in the nation with more than 600,000 people in attendance in Washington, D.C.)

Members of both organizations were praying for change in America, based on 2 Chronicles 7:14. Christians in America were very disillusioned with born-again President Jimmy Carter, and were believing that a born-again governor by the name of Ronald Reagan would become the president of the United States.

Shortly after the Inauguration, I was invited to the White House for dinner with 86 religious leaders representing the nation. I was seated next to Chuck Colson (special counsel to former President Richard Nixon.) We were all deeply moved by the warmth of President Reagan.

I turned to Mr. Colson, and said, “I imagine your mind is going a mile-a-minute thinking about the strategy of this meeting.” He smiled and said, “No, quite the contrary. I’m going down to death row tonight to share Christ with prisoners who are scheduled to die, and my thoughts are on eternity.” (He had mentioned to me that this was his first time to be back in the White House since Watergate.)

During one of the several occasions on which I met with him, I was deeply moved to see President Reagan’s Bible opened to 2 Chronicles 7:14. This is the scripture under which he was sworn into office. A note from his mother was in the margin of his Bible. It said: “Son, this scripture is for the healing of the nation.” I was also deeply moved to see a sign on his desk that said, “A man can become too great in his own eyes to be used by God, but never too small.”