By Bob Allen
Wiley Drake, elected in 2006 as second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention as an everyman candidate representative of small-church pastors who sacrificed to travel to annual meetings and vote for conservative candidates during the “conservative resurgence” before he turned controversial for his practice of “imprecatory prayer,” is running for president of the United States.
Drake, 71, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., said he decided to throw his hat in the ring after observing the operation of politics on Capitol Hill since 2000.
“It’s time for the Judeo-Christian voice to be heard by our policy makers,” Drake said in a press release. “They can try to kick the word of God out of politics, but they will never stop the voice of God through ‘We the People of the United States.’ We are the People of His Presence.”
In 2008 Drake ran for vice president with the American Independent Party as running mate of former Reagan official Alan Keyes. This time, Drake told the Gospel Herald, he is running without any party affiliation.
“The Democrats have done a lot of damage, but the Republicans have done almost as much,” Drake said. “Party politics have ruined this country. It’s time we got back to our history of ministers of the Gospel running for office without a party.”
Drake, an Arkansas native who supported Bill Clinton when he ran for governor in 1982, once garnered attention at annual meetings of the Southern Baptist Convention by making so many motions that bylaws were changed to prohibit any messenger from making a second motion during a business session unless no other previously unrecognized messenger is seeking the floor.
During his year as an SBC vice president, Drake drew rebuke from convention leaders after endorsing a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate on letterhead he created for himself labeled “Southern Baptist Convention, Office of the 2nd Vice President.”
The IRS investigated Drake in 2008 after he sent out a personal letter endorsing Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign written on church stationery.
In 2009 Drake said on his radio program the murder of a doctor who provided late-term abortions was an answer to “imprecatory” prayer he had voiced against an enemy of God. Asked by syndicated talk-show host Alan Colmes if he prayed such prayers for others, Drake responded, “The usurper that is in the White House is one, B. Hussein Obama.”
Drake filed lawsuits questioning legitimacy of Obama’s birth certificate as part of a fringe effort called the “birther” movement, which reared its head recently when GOP candidate Donald Trump received criticism for not correcting a questioner who claimed the current occupant of the Oval Office is a Muslim and was not born in America.
More recently Drake made headlines for supporting Nakoula Basseley, whose anti-Muslim film was blamed for inciting the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate compound in Benghazi, and Kent Hovind, a young-earth creationist preacher and tax protestor sent to prison on federal charges in 2006.
Drake, whose vice presidential running mate is Apostle Blossom Brackman, chair and founder of the Congressional Women of Sovereign Authority and prayer deputy for The Congressional Prayer Conference of Washington, D.C., is running on a platform of “justice,” “mercy” and “faith” and “no party obligations; only to our Heavenly Father.”