Senator John McCain, Lifelong Episcopalian Who Attended Baptist Church After Moving to Arizona, Remembered by His Pastor and Others as a ‘Hero’ Who Quietly Stood for His Faith and Convictions

As tributes continue to pour in from around the world for Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona who succumbed to brain cancer at his home on Saturday, many who praised his life as a war hero also remembered the lifelong Episcopalian for his faith.

In a statement on the passing of her father, who was 81, at the time of his death, Meghan McCain alluded to her father’s faith and the belief that he is now in heaven.

“My father is gone, and I miss him as only an adoring daughter can. But in this loss, and in this sorrow, I take comfort in this: John McCain, hero of the republic and to his little girl, wakes today to something more glorious than anything on this earth,” she wrote before referencing the ending of famed novelist and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis’ The Last Battle, the seventh and final book in his The Chronicles of Narnia series.

“Today the warrior enters his true and eternal life, greeted by those who have gone before him, rising to meet the Author of All Things: ‘The dream is ended: this is the morning,'” her statement ended.

Despite his affiliation with the Episcopal Church, McCain, attended the Southern Baptist-affiliated North Phoenix Baptist Church in Phoenix for at least 17 years Baptist News Global said. He never officially joined the congregation or got baptized there. In a 2008 interview, the church’s then pastor, Dan Yeary, said he discussed baptism with McCain but respected his faith tradition.

“You have to be baptized by immersion to be a member [of North Phoenix],” Yeary said. “John and I have dialogued about that. … John is an Episcopalian, and he and his family attend North Phoenix Baptist Church when he is in town.”

In a Sunday statement, The Most Rev. Michael Curry, presiding bishop and primate of The Episcopal Church praised the late senator for his selflessness.

“The life of Senator John Sidney McCain has been a witness to the nobility of living not for self alone but for the ideals and values that make for a better world. With countless others, we of the Episcopal Church give God thanks for his life and service and pray likewise for his wife, children and family. May his soul and the souls of all the departed Rest in Peace and rise in glory. Amen,” he said.

In the early 1990s, Yeary talked with McCain on video about his experience as a prisoner of war in Vietnam for more than five years and how his faith help sustain him.

“He just came up and sat in my office for a good two hours and talked about how prayer and his faith sustained him in that setting,” Yeary said. “It was a wonderful day. From that moment on, John and I forged a friendship. It is not the kind where we talk every week or even every month. … [But] I would tell anyone who asks me it has been a privilege to serve as their pastor.”

Yeary also praised him for his maverick approach to politics and life in general.

“I think John reaches out to everybody,” Yeary told BNG. “He’s not afraid to spend time with people who have radically different views. I think that’s smart. That’s intelligent.”

McCain’s running mate in the 2008 presidential election, Sarah Palin, also remembered the late senator as an “American original” in a statement on Twitter.

“Today we lost an American original. Sen. John McCain was a maverick and a fighter, never afraid to stand for his beliefs. John never took the easy path in life – and through sacrifice and suffering he inspired others to serve something greater than self,” she wrote. “John McCain was my friend. I will remember the good times. My family and I send prayers for Cindy and the McCain family.”

Russell Moore, president of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission also had only praise for McCain on Twitter.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair