He’s pastor of a Baptist church, a race car driver, a father, a grandfather and soon-to-be great-grandfather.  He’s known to friends and church members simply as ‘Preacher’.  And as of Wednesday, he’ll add yet another great accomplishment in his life-he’ll deliver the opening prayer before a session of the U.S. House of Representatives.  Reverend Mike Rucker, a native of Wichita, KS, has served as pastor at Bible Baptist Church in Wichita Falls since 1993.

“This is a real honor, a once in a lifetime event, so we’re honored to be asked”, Rucker said of being invited to give the invocation prayer on June 26.  He and his wife Sherrie were invited to Washington, D.C. by Congressman Mac Thornberry.  Rev. Rucker is also known as ‘The Flying Preacher’, a nickname earned through his other ministry, Rucker Racing Ministries.  'Preacher' races a late model dirt track car (his number is 316, for John 3:16) and has used his talents as a driver to help spread the Gospel for over 25 years.

The opening prayer before congress has been a tradition since 1774.  The very first prayer of the Continental Congress was offered by Reverend Jacob Duché, Rector of Christ Church of Philadelphia on September 7, 1774.  Rev. Rucker’s visit to Washington marks the first time a Wichita Falls pastor has offered the opening prayer before the House.   The prayer, limited by House rules to just 150 words, will be delivered at approximately 11:00 a.m. local time (12 noon eastern).  You can watch online at http://houselive.gov/

You can also watch on Time Warner Cable channel 361, Dish Network channel 210 and Direct TV channel 350.