Christian Presidents: 10 Leaders Known for Their Faith

by Pamela Rose Williams · Print Print · Email Email

The United States of America is founded on Christian principles. Some might argue this, however our history is well documented to include the fact that the founding fathers believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ was the foundation of our freedom and the model for our constitutional republic [1]. As another matter of fact, many of our founding fathers were also elected to the office of the President of this great Nation. Let’s take a look at just 10 of those Christian Presidents known for their faith.

George Washington 

Best known as the first President of the United States, George Washington has a well documented life as an adult but not much has been written about his childhood. His Christian heritage is documented in The Writings of George Washington that was compiled and published in 1830 by Jared Sparks, a well respected writer and historian [2]. Washington continually acknowledges the Hand of Providence and the Divine as the One in whom he owed thanksgiving for battles won and for this great nation.  His inaugural addresses were laced with proof of his heritage. One of his most famous acknowledgements came at the end of the Revolutionary War. In his letter to the States on June 8, 1783 he is quoted as saying:

“…the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation.” [3]

John Adams

John Adams was schooled at Harvard and was a lawyer. John Adams is responsible for urging the United States to take a lead in the development of the arts and sciences through the establishment of a national university, the financing of scientific expeditions, and the erection of an observatory. His critics declared such measures transcended constitutional limitations.[a] John Adams is another man that never hid his Christian faith. He was actually the first President, in a letter to his wife, to ask a blessing on the White House – not only for himself, but for all who followed him as well, here is what he wrote:

“Before I end my letter, I pray Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise Men ever rule under this roof.”

To support the claim that our nation was founded on Christian principles, read what he wrote here:

“The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”[4]

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson’s passion was for liberty. He was not a gifted speaker but was an excellent writer. He won the presidency on a tie through a flaw in the Constitution.  During his office he was attributed with slashing the national debt by 1/3.

In the book “Silenced in the Schoolhouse: How Biblical illiteracy in our schools is destroying America” Dr. Michael Williams says this about Thomas Jefferson’s faith:

“Probably no other founding father’s faith has been argued about more extensively than that of Thomas Jefferson. Numerous web sites, mostly run by non-Christians that do not believe there is any place in public for religion, can be found that claim Jefferson was not a Christian. The question that begs to be asked is how can a non-Christian be an authority of what is a ‘real Christian?’” He goes on to say “… Jefferson’s theology was not in keeping with what many would consider fundamental Christianity, but it was not Christianity in general that he was against, it was the corruption of Christianity by those professing to be Christians.” [1]

During his presidency Jefferson frequently negotiated with Indian tribes and he even created a little book called Philosophy of Jesus that was made up of cut and pasted Bible verses that he used as a primer to teach the Indians about Jesus. He even believed that Christian missionaries to the Indians was so important that he provided the missionaries at government expense [7]. That little book is called the Jefferson Bible by revisionist historians.

John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams is recorded in history as the first son of a President (John Adams). His presidency was said to have been much like that of his father’s. He was also a Harvard graduate and a lawyer. John Quincy Adams is the first to propose national highways and canals.

His Christian heritage is also well documented and two of his great quotes include:

“My hopes of a future life are all founded upon the Gospel of Christ and I cannot cavil or quibble away [evade or object to]. . . . the whole tenor of His conduct by which He sometimes positively asserted and at others countenances [permits] His disciples in asserting that He was God.” [5]

“In the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior. The Declaration of Independence laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity.” [6]

Abraham Lincoln

“Yes, I do love Jesus”

President Lincoln is best known for his stance on the abolition of slavery. He was not a well educated man, but was willing to learn anything that he needed to be a great leader. He led the United States of America through one of the most dramatic changes in American history. Most biographers would say that Abraham Lincoln was not a Christian, but I learned that he became a Christian later in life. I did some research and found this as his testimony when he was asked if he loves Jesus by an Illinois Pastor whom was well known and trusted by Mr. Lincoln, he replied:

“When I left Springfield I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ. Yes, I do love Jesus.” [8]

Grover Cleveland

President Cleveland is the only man to serve one full term as President and return as President four years later. He was the first democrat elected to the presidency after the Civil War. Mr. Cleveland was the son of a preacher and he is best known as a great leader due to his single-mindedness.

Here is a great quote from President Cleveland:

“I know there is a Supreme Being who rules the affairs of men and whose goodness and mercy have always followed the American people, and I know He will not turn from us now if we humbly and reverently seek His powerful aid.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Eisenhower was the president who pushed to have the “under God” added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954. He also adoped “In God We Trust” as the USA Motto in 1957. He was instrumental as paper currency was introduced in 1957. He wrote a prayer for his first inauguration and always started his Cabinet meetings with a silent prayer. He welcomed many religious leaders to the White House while he was in office.[9]

President Eisenhower once said:

“Before all else, we seek, upon our common labor as a nation, the blessings of Almighty God.”

Ronald Reagan

President Reagan was well known for his stance in opposition to big government. He reformed the income tax code in 1986 allowing lower income people to avoid exorbitant taxes. He held two terms in office and at the end of his administration the USA recorded the longest time of peace and prosperity never having any period of recession or depression. We also saw the end of the cold war and the fall of the Berlin wall under President Reagan. Mr. Reagan often talked about God and one of my favorite quotes by him is:

“I believe with all my heart that standing up for America means standing up for the God who has so blessed our land. We need God’s help to guide our nation through stormy seas. But we can’t expect Him to protect America in a crisis if we just leave Him over on the shelf in our day-to-day living.”

George H. W. Bush

President Bush (sometimes called “George the elder”) came from a political family. He had a heart to see America become a “kinder and gentler nation”. President Bush’s test of leadership came when Iraq invaded Kuwait in what we now know as the battle of Dessert Storm. He worked with the United Nations, the citizens of the USA and Congress to send hundreds of thousands of troops to fight to stop President Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi troops from advancing. He regularly prayed in all areas of his life, including the White House. He is quoted as saying:

“I do not mistrust the future; I do not fear what is ahead. For our problems are large, but our heart is larger. Our challenges are great, but our will is greater. And if our flaws are endless, God’s love is truly boundless.”

George W. Bush

President George W. Bush sadly became a wartime President when the USA suffered a carefully planned terrorist attack in three simultaneous areas on September 11, 2001. President Bush’s response to this attack was to form the Department of Homeland Security on his Cabinet. In addition, he sent American troops to Afghanistan to destroy the Taliban. He promised to help the people of Iraq form a democratic system of government to bring hope to that people and lift the threat of continued war for generations to come. President Bush was bold in his faith and he is quoted as saying:

“As we continue to fight against terror, we ask the Almighty to protect all those who battle for freedom throughout the world and our brave men and women in uniform, and we ask Him to shield innocents from harm. We recognize the sacrifice of our military families and ask God to grant them peace and strength. We will not forget the men and women who have fallen in service to America and to the cause of freedom. We pray that their loved ones will receive God’s comfort and grace.”

As stated earlier, some might argue regarding the Christian foundation of the United States of America, but upon careful study of our true American History, you will find that the principles established as our constitutional republic are based upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is what makes our Nation unlike any other. This is what has preserved all religious freedom for more than 200 years. It is the Christian principles in our founding documents that have allowed other religions to be established and supported in this great country. This is called the blessings of liberty. Just as every Christian should read and study the Bible to show themselves approved, every US citizen should read and study our American History and get to know what the founding documents say so that they are not led astray by people who want to revise our history.

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” [10]


[a] www . whitehouse .gov

[b] www . biography . com

[c] www . wallbuilders . com

[1] Williams, Michael L., Silenced in the Schoolhouse: How Biblical illiteracy in our schools is destroying America” (Michael L. Williams, Wisdom4Today, Publisher, 2008)

[2] George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, Jared Sparks, editor (Boston: Ferdinand Andrews, Publisher, 1838), Vol. XII, pp. 399-411.

[3] George Washington’s Circular to the States, June 8, 1783, in John C. Fitzpatrick, editor, The Writings of George Washington, Vol. XXVI (Washinton: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1932), p. 496.

[4] Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Washington D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. XIII, p. 292-294. In a letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813.

[5] John Adams, Works, Vol. X, p. 85, to Thomas Jefferson on December 25, 1813.

[6] John Quincy Adams, An Oration Delivered Before the Inhabitants of the Town of Newburyport at Their Request on the Sixty-First Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1837 (Newburyport: Charles Whipple, 1837), pp. 5-6.

[7] straighttalk . net

[8] Abraham Lincoln: the Christian, William J. Johnstone, 1915

[9] Pankratz, Herbert (July 2001). “A Guide to Historical Holdings in the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library: Eisenhower and Religion” (PDF). United States Archives. Archived from the original on 2008-02-16.

[10] http://www .

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