Beliefnet’s God-O-Meter (jeez, I could live without that bit of cutsie-poo) usefully calls attention to the Baptist Press Association’s interview of the pastor of the North Phoenix Baptist Church that John McCain attends. Does that mean that Dan Yeary is John McCain’s pastor? Well, what’s clear from the interview is that John McCain has very much not joined the church he attends.
Yeary said McCain and then-pastor Richard Jackson had a conversation about membership and baptism when Cindy McCain joined the church. Likewise, Yeary said he continues to talk with the senator about his membership. Yeary did not reveal the details, but said the dialogue is ongoing.
“You have to be baptized by immersion to be a member [of North Phoenix],” Yeary said. “John and I have dialogued about that. … John is an Episcopalian, and he and his family attend North Phoenix Baptist Church when he is in town.”
So far as I know, this is as definitive a statement as there is of exactly where John McCain stands religiously. As of this moment he may be considered an evangelical fellow traveler. Conservative evangelicals are not wrong to regard him as not one of them. And they’re not very enthusiastic.