Photo credit: U.S. Department of State

Condoleezza Rice was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1954. Her father, a Presbyterian minister, pastored the church her grandfather (also a minister) had founded. Her parents decided to have just one child and give her every opportunity possible. And they did. Whatever she set her heart and mind to they made every effort to help her pursue, often at great personal sacrifice. When she was just three years old, she undertook her first accomplishment – learning to play the piano.

Her parents also encouraged free thinking. Condoleezza believed in Christ for as long as she could remember but still had questions about her faith from time to time. She was never told to just accept things because “that’s the way it is.” Instead, her father (in particular) discussed her questions and reasoned with her, encouraging her to look at the truths in Scripture and draw her own conclusions. Her faith was solidified from a young age and she never strayed from it. It became her guiding light through the year ahead.

Condoleezza was no stranger to the racial tensions that plagued the South. Her father helped patrol the neighborhood, protecting families from Ku Klux Klan attacks. And when she was just eight years old, two of her friends were killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. The ugliness of racial oppression helped shape her future. She firmly believed God was sovereign over all things and He had plans for her future – to help bring spiritual and physical liberation to all.

By the time she was 26, Condoleezza Rice was an assistant professor at Stanford University. She became an expert in Soviet politics and began travelling the world. She was so busy, she was neglecting her church attendance, which began taking its toll spiritually. Then, out of the blue, God orchestrated a divine appointment and she was asked whether she would play the piano for a local church. She agreed to play, a decision which rekindled her love of God.

In 1988, George H.W. Bush invited Miss Rice to join his presidential campaign as his foreign policy advisor. This opportunity led to her appointment as George W. Bush’s national security advisor when he became the president. This is the position she was serving in when the 9/11 attacks rocked our nation. Despite the strain and sorrow of her father’s recent death, added to a national tragedy, Condoleezza remained strong in her faith and in her service to our country. When President George W. Bush was sworn in for his second term, Miss Rice was appointed Secretary of State.

God had placed her in the ideal position to help bring spiritual and physical liberation to others. Her goal, labeled “transformational diplomacy” was to help build and sustain well-governed, democratic states throughout the world – particularly in the Middle East. She made great strides to this end while she held her office.

Condoleezza has since returned to Stanford University where she currently serves as the director of the Hoover Institution. Though she is no longer in the public eye, she will be recorded in history as the first African American woman to serve as a United States National Security Advisor and Secretary of State. God accomplished, and continues to accomplish, His purposes through this amazing woman who obediently followed God wherever He lead her.