The Congressional Prayer Caucus has a new leader. North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker joins Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford as co-chair.
Walker replaces Virginia Rep. Randy Forbes who founded the Prayer Caucus 11 years ago to guard the right of individuals to pray and practice their faith freely. Forbes lost his congressional seat in the primary last fall.
"I am extremely grateful for Rep. Randy Forbes and his work on the Congressional Prayer Caucus over the last decade," said Lankford. "America is better because of his commitment to creating this Caucus, and being a consistent champion for religious liberty. Our nation is a diverse country that values the freedom to have faith or have no faith at all. It is vitally important that Congress respects these values in public policy, as well as culture. The Congressional Prayer Caucus has worked successfully to advocate for and protect values that are fundamental to the fabric of our nation, and I'm honored to have Rep. Mark Walker serve as my co-chairman."
Rep. Walker is serving his first term in Congress. Like Lankford, he served as a pastor before running for Congress.
"I am honored to serve as Co-chair of the Congressional Prayer Caucus with my good friend Senator Lankford," said Walker. "Prayer is a source of strength and hope for so many Americans - a source we must recognize and protect. Though politics can be divisive at times, prayer should be a uniting force for Congress and for our nation. I look forward to serving the caucus and fighting to protect one of the foundations of our First Amendment."
Since it's founding in 2005, the Congressional Prayer Caucus has been a force on Capitol Hill, passing legislation reaffirming 'In God We Trust' as our national motto, defending the practice of legislative prayer and defending the rights of religious student groups to operate on secular campuses.
"I'm deeply grateful for the work of my fellow Southern Baptists, Senator James Lankford and Congressman Randy Forbes, in leading the Congressional Prayer Caucus," said Dr. Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
"I'm overjoyed to see Congressman Forbes' tireless work in praying, and speaking on religious freedom issues will be continued by the new leadership of Congressman Mark Walker," he continued. "I'm honored to call Congressman Walker a friend who represents Southern Baptists and all people of faith with excellence, integrity, and skill in the United States Congress."
"This important caucus is raising awareness of the dire state of religious freedom around the world," Moore said.
The caucus has more than 90 members serving in both the House and Senate.