‘He Was Ready to Go to Heaven’: The ‘Deep Faith’ of George H.W. Bush

By Nancy Flory Published on December 6, 2018

A man of “deep faith,” former President George H.W. Bush knew where he was going after his death, his granddaughters Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush told the Today Show in a recent interview. Although generally quiet in public about his faith, it was essential to his life, said his pastor, Reverend Russell Levenson. 

A Simple Faith

Bush’s faith, said Levenson, was a deep and simple one that came easily to him. “It was a very real faith that he had in our Lord. He and Barbara were Christians, very active and committed Christians to Jesus Christ. … [H]e was a very faithful man in every way.” Levenson pointed out that Bush prayed with him many times.

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And it was during a time of great tragedy that his prayers sustained him. Former President George W. Bush spoke at his father’s funeral and recalled hearing about his sister’s death to leukemia. “Dad, a man of quiet faith, prayed for [Robin] daily. He was sustained by the love of the Almighty and the real and enduring love of her mom. Dad always believed that one day he would hug his precious Robin again.”

He Was Ready

Bush 43 said his father was ready to go when his time came, ready to see all of his loved ones who’d already passed.

Although his family is grieving, Bush Hager said they have joy, too. “How grateful [we are] that we got to spend time with him and see what grace looks like. …[W]e know he was ready. He was confident, I mean, he said it, of where he was going the day he died. He said he knew he was ready to go to heaven. That provides great relief for us all.” 

At Wednesday’s state funeral, Bush Hager read Revelation 21:1-4, 6-7, 23-26. Watch:


On Thursday, The Oak Ridge Boys delivered on a promise to sing at Bush’s funeral in Houston. The Oak Ridge Boys’ Richard Sterban said that Bush had requested that the group perform “Amazing Grace” at his funeral. In the early 80s, the band sang at a White House barbeque and they’ve been friends with Bush ever since. In fact, the former president called The Oak Ridge Boys his favorite band.

At Thursday’s funeral, Oak Ridge Boy Joe Bonsall said they’d sang for Bush for years. “This is … a real honor to be here. What a lot of people may not know is he fancied himself to be a good bass singer. He was not.” The audience laughed. “We’ll sing for our President.”


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