Southern Baptist Adviser to Hillary Clinton, Burns Strider, Talks About the Soon-to-be Presidential Candidate’s ‘Quiet, Unshakable Faith’

Former first lady Hillary Clinton departs the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola after fashion designer Oscar de la Renta’s memorial service in the Manhattan borough of New York on Nov. 3, 2014. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Former first lady Hillary Clinton departs the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola after fashion designer Oscar de la Renta’s memorial service in the Manhattan borough of New York on Nov. 3, 2014. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

by Burns Strider

Late on a Saturday night in 2012, I received word from my sister in Mississippi that my mamma had passed away. My home was silent as my wife and two boys slept upstairs. I was reading when the sad call came.

I woke my wife to tell her; we sat on the edge of the bed and hugged. In my sadness, around midnight, I started cleaning the kitchen, likely because my mamma was always cleaning something. I also reached out to two friends.

It was within minutes that I heard back from Hillary.

Secretary Clinton joined me in my heartbreak, reminding me that she could share the pain because of the fairly recent loss of her own mother. She also told me to get to Mississippi, be with my family and take all the time I needed — because my work in Washington paled in comparison to remembering and mourning my mom and being with family.

My family and I drove home, deeper and deeper into my Southern motherland, to bury my mom. My siblings had asked me to speak for the family at the funeral, so I rode shotgun and wrote while my wife, Karen, drove.

Along the way, drafting what I consider the most important talk of my life, I again reached out to Secretary Clinton, who was engaged in one of the most grueling and intense schedules that any secretary of state had undertaken. Even so, she found the time to offer suggestions and talk me through this most personal task.

She was there for me. I often tell people that working in politics brings me into contact with the best and most challenging folks God has placed on our earth. I consider it a blessing working with and knowing Hillary Clinton.

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SOURCE: Religion News Service

Burns Strider is a senior adviser to the pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC Correct The Record, and he directed faith outreach for Clinton’s 2008 campaign. A Southern Baptist from Mississippi, Strider is founder and principal of the Eleison Group, a faith-based political, governmental and nonprofit consulting firm.