Trump Bible Study Group to Feature Dick DeVos, Join Troubled Willow Creek Leadership Gathering

Dick DeVos at debate during his unsuccessful 2006 Michigan gubernatorial bid (Image from WKAR-TV broadcast)

Capitol Ministries, a group that teaches public officials that the Bible mandates right-wing economic and social policies, is convening its global staff for a regional directors’ conference in Chicago this week. Among the speakers will be Dick DeVos, right-wing political funder and husband of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who is reportedly one of the participants in the weekly Bible study that Capitol Ministries’ President Ralph Drollinger leads for members of President Trump’s cabinet.

Drollinger also leads weekly Bible studies for members of the U.S. House and Senate and publishes weekly written Bible study materials that his group distributes widely to public officials. Capitol Ministries has ambitious plans to run Bible studies for legislators and other public officials in national capitals around the world, every U.S. state capital, and tens of thousands of local government bodies.

After Capitol Ministries’ two-day conference, its staff will attend the Global Leadership Summit sponsored by the Willow Creek Association, a leadership organization that is independent of, but associated with, the Willow Creek megachurch. Dick DeVos, former president of Amway, chairs the Willow Creek Association’s board.

The association describes itself as “a community of innovative churches sharing a common vision of supporting the building of biblically functioning churches globally, representing members from diverse churches, denominations, regions, cultures and ethnicities who want to learn from each other and see the Church thrive worldwide.” Member churches are expected to “hold to a history, orthodox understanding of biblical Christianity.”

In April, Bill Hybels, founder of the Willow Creek Community Church, resigned from the Willow Creek Association board amid accusations of sexual harassment and other improprieties. He also resigned as the church’s senior pastor.

On August 5, Willow Creek Church’s Teaching Pastor Steve Carter resigned after The New York Times reported new allegations against Hybels. Christianity Today reports that since Hybel’s resignation, 111 church and organization sites that had previously committed to hosting the simulcast of the Willow Creek Association’s Global Leadership Summit have canceled. CT reports that “Tom DeVries, president and CEO of the Willow Creek Association (WCA) which runs the GLS, is expected to make a statement about Hybels at the start of the summit.”

As we noted in May:

Drollinger’s weekly written Bible studies, which are available online, instruct public officials that the government’s job is to “quell evil” and punish sin; that “as a lawmaker it is incumbent on you to stand for the death penalty”; that entitlement programs lack “any basis of biblical authority”; that “radical environmentalism” is a “false religion”.