On January 18, 2017, President Donald J. Trump announced Sonny Perdue as his pick for United States Department of Agriculture, USDA, secretary. On April 24, 2018, Perdue was officially confirmed with an impressive 87 Senate votes.
From 2003 to 2011, the USDA Secretary served as governor of the state of Georgia. Interestingly, Perdue became the first Republican governor of the Peach State since Reconstruction. Despite his many accomplishments, Perdue is a surprisingly easy-going, humble man who desires to “lead as Jesus would.”
During a recent “Back to Our Roots” tour of the Midwest, the USDA Secretary felt at home while standing in the middle of a cow pasture. The son of a farmer, Perdue grew up in middle Georgia where he commonly mowed fields, bailed hay, and fed calves. During a recent interview with CBN News, Perdue candidly said, “I can remember being in the hayfields as a 10 or 12-year-old and working until 5:00 and then going to put my little league uniform on and going to play games.”
The USDA Secretary reminisced to CBN News about accepting Jesus as his Savior at Bonaire Baptist Church around this time in his life. Perdue said, “My mother may have known I was perfect, but God knew I wasn’t. He knew that I was sinful just like every other person born and I needed a savior and at 11 years old I recognized that and submitted to that need of someone to pay for my sins.”
Before becoming Georgia’s first Republican governor since Reconstruction, Perdue served as a Democratic Senator in Georgia’s General Assembly. Throughout his decades long political career, the USDA Secretary has never attempted to hide his devout Christian faith. At the time Perdue was elected governor of Georgia, he and his wife Mary attended the Second Baptist Church in Warner Robins, Georgia. While residing in Georgia’s Governor’s Mansion, Purdue and his wife became members of the First Baptist Church Woodstock. The couple led a Sunday School class for young couples at the Woodstock place of worship. While teaching the class, they emphasized the significance faith plays in building a strong and lasting union.
When Perdue’s stint as Georgia’s governor ended, he and his wife returned to Second Baptist Church in Warner Robins, Georgia. Their son Jim became pastor of the place of worship in 2012. After securing Georgia’s Governor’s Mansion, Perdue informed reporters, “If you read the Sermon on the Mount if you read the qualities of love, peace, joy, compassion, patience – those kinds of things – what are those qualities that disqualify somebody from governing.”
Perdue told CBN News, “We as Christians have failed to live the Christian life, that’s why people worry when we get into office because sometimes we’re no different, but when we’re really literally living the Christian life, that’s the best form of government you can have.”
Every week, Perdue meets with several other cabinet members to study the Bible and pray. Ralph Drollinger, founder of Capital Ministries, leads the meetings. Regarding them, Perdue said, “It’s in depth, it’s not just checking the box. We actually go through the Bible verse by verse and we challenge ourselves. The main thing we challenge ourselves is taking the word of God and making sure that we are living it – not just talking about it.”
While not shying away from his Christian faith on the job, Perdue is dedicated to slashing regulations for farmers. Concerning government red tape, the USDA Secretary told CBN News, “They have to have an HR director to comply or a CFO on staff to do that and farmers – it’s typically a farmer and his wife trying to comply with these regulations and permits and reports and all those kind of things without violating the law – and it’s a very thin line to walk sometimes.” Regarding the immigration debate, Perdue has made the guest worker program more favorable for farmers.
He said, “We need a legal workforce on farms. We don’t want people living in the shadows there. We don’t want farmers doing things illegally.” Commenting to CBN News about his boss, Perdue stated, “President Trump is an interesting negotiator and sometimes leads with very much aggression but has an ability to get people’s attention.”
~ 1776 Christian