A Southern Baptist preacher who endorsed GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee on church letterhead said Wednesday he was being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service for mixing religion with politics.Rev. Wiley Drake, a prominent pastor in the Southern Baptist Convention, said he received a 14-page letter from the IRS on Feb. 7.
Under federal tax law, church officials can legally discuss politics, but they cannot endorse candidates or parties without risking their tax-exempt status. Most who do so receive a warning.
On Aug. 11, Drake wrote a press release on letterhead from the First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park that announced his personal endorsement of Huckabee and asked all Southern Baptists to get behind the candidate.