Rick Perry is the longest-serving governor in Texas history, having held the office from 2000 to 2015. Perry ascended to the governorship after the election of former Texas Governor George W. Bush to the presidency. He was re-elected three times.
Perry previously ran for president in 2012, but struggled amid a crowded field — especially during a debate where he had his infamous "oops" moment. Perry, who would later drop out of the race, failed on a debate stage to name a third federal agency he would cut, before finally giving up.
A former C-130 pilot in the Air Force, Perry officially launched his second effort for the White House in June.
Here are six interesting facts about the Christian faith of Rick Perry:
1. Perry has said if elected president, "I'll end Obama's war on religion and I'll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage."
Perry said those words in a 30 second ad he ran in 2011 during his first presidential campaign. Some critics attacked the ad for being anti-homosexual. Perry declared in the ad, "I'm not ashamed to admit I'm a Christian, but you don't need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there is something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school."
2. Perry was a longtime member of United Methodist Churches in Texas, but now attends an Evangelical non-denominational church.
He has attended numerous church services as governor all over the state and told the Austin American-Statesmen that "If I remember on Wednesday what the message was on Sunday, it was a good message." As governor, Perry and his wife began regularly attending the non-denominational Lake Hills Church in Austin. In a report covered by The Christian Post, Perry was re-baptized in 2014 in the same waters as Texas icon Sam Houston. Perry credits his mother for making sure they were at the Methodist Church every Sunday during his youth.
3. Like many governors before him, Perry has issued a proclamation for citizens to pray for rain.
Amid a major drought in Texas, Perry issued a proclamation asking citizens to pray for rain in April of 2011. "I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on that day for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of our normal way of life," Perry declared. While he was criticized by some in the media, droughts often serve as a reminder that we are not in control of the created order and are dependent on a higher power.
4. Perry has advocated for teaching intelligent design alongside evolution in schools.
He told The San Angelo Times in 2010, "I am a firm believer in intelligent design as a matter of faith and intellect, and I believe it should be presented in schools alongside the theories of evolution."
5. In June of 2011, Perry helped organize a Houston prayer rally for the nation.
The Christian Post reported Perry's comments during the event where he declared, "Right now, America is in crisis: we have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters.
As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy," he added.
6. Perry has said he knew he was "going into ministry," he just wasn't sure "how large the pulpit was going to be 30 years later as the governor of the great state of Texas."
Perry's oft repeated comments speak to his belief that his vocation or calling extends to political office. He credits his faith for protecting life in Texas. He added too at the Faith & Freedom Coalition Summit in Iowa: "We believe in religious freedom in the state of Texas."