One of the more publicly shared accounts of Pence’s transition from a Catholic youth minister who wanted to be a priest to an evangelical megachurch member came in 1994. That’s when he told the Indianapolis Business Journal about an intense period of religious searching that he underwent in college. “I made a commitment to Christ,” Pence said, speaking of the late 1970s. “I’m a born-again, evangelical Catholic.”
Craig Fehrman, an Indiana freelance journalist who has written about Pence’s faith over the years, said he has questioned the governor and has been met with diminishing specificity. Pence always points to 1978 (his freshman year of college) as the point of his “conversion” to evangelical Christianity, yet after that he still attended Mass, worked as a youth pastor at a Catholic parish, met his wife at Mass and applied to graduate school with the intention of becoming a priest, Fehrman said Friday.