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WASILLA, Alaska — Shortly after taking office as governor in 2006, Sarah Palin sent an e-mail message to Paul E. Riley, her former pastor in the Assembly of God Church, which her family began attending when she was a youth. She needed spiritual advice in how to do her new job, said Mr. Riley, who is 78 and retired from the church.
“She asked for a biblical example of people who were great leaders and what was the secret of their leadership,” Mr. Riley said.
He wrote back that she should read again from the Old Testament the story of Esther, a beauty queen who became a real one, gaining the king’s ear to avert the slaughter of the Jews and vanquish their enemies. When Esther is called to serve, God grants her a strength she never knew she had.
Mr. Riley said he thought Ms. Palin had lived out the advice as governor, and would now do so again as the Republican Party’s vice-presidential nominee.
“God has given her the opportunity to serve,” he said. “And God has given her the strength to carry out her goals."
Interviews with the two pastors she has been most closely associated with here in her hometown — she now attends the Wasilla Bible Church, though she keeps in touch with Mr. Riley and recently spoke at an event at his former church — and with friends and acquaintances who have worshipped with her point to a firm conclusion: her foundation and source of guidance is the Bible, and with it has come a conviction to be God’s servant.
If you like you can read the remainder of the article:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/06/us/politics/06church.html?emc=tnt&tntemail1=y