Cubby Culbertson, the man Mark Sanford calls a "spiritual giant."

Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
June 24 2009 5:14 PM

Sanford's "Spiritual Giant"

Who is Cubby Culbertson?

Also in Slate: William Saletan on Sanford's surprisingly honest confession. John Dickerson on the disturbing glee at Sanford's downfall. Plus: A guide to politicians' reactions to sex scandals.

Near the end of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's jarringly open confessional press conference Wednesday, as the event deteriorated into a storm of questions, interruptions, and half-answers, Sanford paused to give a shout-out. "I see Cubby Culbertson in the back of the room," Sanford said. "I would consider him a spiritual giant." Someone tried to interrupt him, but Sanford pressed on: "And an incredibly dear friend. And he has been helping us work through this over these last five months. And Cubby, I want to say thank you for being there as a friend."

So, who is this spiritual giant who for five months has been advising the governor? Warren "Cubby" Culbertson is a pillar of the Christian community in South Carolina's capital, a Bible study leader and Sunday school teacher who owns a court reporting business.

Culbertson helped form a men's Bible study group with the help of good friend Bill Jones, the president of the evangelical college Columbia International University. (A collection of "Cubby's Talks" can be found here.) The group, called the Round Table, meets weekly in Culbertson's Columbia office. For about eight years, it has attracted some of Columbia's top professionals, including, briefly, Sanford.


Sanford attended the Round Table meetings twice in the last few years, and as a result of those meetings, Culbertson became a part of Sanford's life in a "counselor" capacity, according to another of the group's founding members, Columbia attorney Bill Short. But he's a longtime supporter of the politician. In 1998, years before the Round Table held its first meeting, Culbertson donated $250 to the Sanford for Congress campaign, according to campaign records.

Culbertson is also an occasional teacher at Christ Church of the Carolinas. His podcasts on the Book of James are available online.

Additional reporting contributed by Inci Atrek, Lydia DePillis, and Jeremy Singer-Vine. 

AP Video: South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford Admits Affair



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.