NEW ORLEANS – Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee testified at an award luncheon in his honor that his wish to be used by God, a prayer he made as a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, has been answered.
Huckabee was one of two awardees for the seminary's Distinguished Alumnus Award on Wednesday during the Southern Baptist Convention's Annual Meeting.
The Fox News TV host attended the seminary in the 1970s and was six credit hours shy of graduating with a theological degree. The former Republican presidential candidate told the audience that he and his young family were dirt poor at the time when they came to the seminary. "We were not only broke but broken," he told the audience at the Southwestern Alumni and Friends Luncheon.
His wife, Janet, was struggling with spine cancer at the time. Despite his personal hardships, Huckabee said he felt challenged to be on fire for the Lord. That challenge led Huckabee to pray, "If there's a place for me, use me."
Since praying that prayer, Huckabee has served as a pastor for 12 years at two Arkansas churches: Immanuel Baptist Church of Pine Bluff and Beech Street First Baptist Church of Texarkana. In 1993, he was elected as Lt. Governor of Arkansas. Three years later he was elected governor of the state. In 2008, he ran to be the Republican nominee for the U.S. presidency.
Southwestern Seminary's President Paige Patterson remarked that Huckabee is "no longer in the pastorate, the world is [his] pastorate."
Huckabee said that his prayer was answered not because he became a politician, but because he has always been where the Lord wanted him to be. "Believe me, being the subject of the news is not all it's cracked up to be. Where it is cracked up to be is where God wants you to be," he told the luncheon atteendees.
Huckabee encouraged everyone to pray to be used by God. "I think that prayer is answered every time we pray [it]," he shared.
He also thanked Southwestern for the alumnus award saying, "very few things means so much to me."
Tommy French, pastor emeritus of Jefferson Baptist Church and president of the Southwestern Seminary's Alumni Association, was also awarded the Distinguished Alumnus Award.