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Ky. statehouse chaplain to pray & provide counsel

FRANKFORT, Ky. (BP) — When the Kentucky General Assembly directory was printed, it probably wasn’t intended as a prayer guide.

But that is how Steve Weaver has been using the publication.

For weeks, Weaver has been studying the faces of Kentucky’s politicians to know them by name — and to pray for them as a minister to the state capitol.

Weaver is serving as a chaplain through the Capitol Commission, an organization that seeks to share the love of God with government leaders and legislators of every political persuasion across the country. The Kentucky Baptist Convention contributes to the Capitol Commission’s work in Kentucky.

In 2014, Weaver served on the KBC’s Committee on Public Affairs, where he had the opportunity to get acquainted with lawmakers, many of whom requested that the convention provide a nonpartisan chaplain for spiritual counsel and prayer in the capitol.

Weaver plans to spend his first year on the job getting to know everyone from the janitor to the governor. “I want to show pastoral concern for everyone at the capitol,” he said.

Weaver is senior pastor of Farmdale Baptist Church in Frankfort, where he has served for seven years. He holds master’s and doctoral degrees from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville and an undergraduate degree from Liberty University in Virginia.

In seeing his new role as an extension of his ministry, Weaver said he won’t need to “change hats” at the capitol because “I’m going to do the same thing I do as a pastor of a church, and that is preach the Gospel and minister to all people.”

Paul Chitwood, executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, said he’s convinced Weaver will have a successful ministry at the capitol.

“He has all the gifts and talents needed for such a role as this,” Chitwood said. “I’m thrilled the Lord called Steve to this position. I think our lawmakers, our policymakers, every staffer in state government will be blessed as a result.”

Along with prayer, Weaver’s ministry will include a weekly Bible study open to everyone in the capitol.

Weaver wants people to know that he will not be pushing any political agendas while in the statehouse, saying he wants to be a voice of truth to both parties.

“I’m trying to minister to everyone and let each person know that I care about him or her as an individual, regardless of political party,” he said.

Weaver pointed out that Christians are citizens of the Kingdom of God and need to be able to maintain their identity as Christians rather than being “co-opted by a political party.”

“I’m trying to meet with Republicans, Democrats and independents to let them know that I’m here to serve them,” he said. “I’m not asking anything from anyone — besides a few minutes of their time to get to know them so that I can pray for them.”