Inside the White House Bible Study group (Source bbc.com)
Every Wednesday, some of the world’s most powerful people meet in a conference room in Washington DC to learn about God. The location can’t be revealed – the Secret Service won’t allow it – but the members can. Vice-President Mike Pence. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The list goes on. In total, 10 cabinet members are “sponsors” of the group. Not everyone attends every meeting – they are busy people – but they go if they can.
Meetings last between 60 and 90 minutes, and members are free to contact the teacher after-hours. So who is the man leading the United States’ most-influential bible study?
Step forward Ralph Drollinger, a seven-foot tall basketball pro turned pastor. Or, as the 63-year-old describes himself: “Just a jock with some bad knees.” Drollinger grew up in La Mesa, a suburb of San Diego, California. As a child, he rarely went to church – “Probably half a dozen times,” he says – and didn’t get far with the Bible. “I always promised myself I’d read it,” he says. “But every time I tried, it didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.” In his last year of high school, after a basketball game, some cheerleaders invited him to bible study. He went, and his world changed. “It was the first time I really heard the gospel,” he says. “So I went home, read through the whole gospel of Matthew that night, and asked Jesus into my heart.”