The Donald Trump campaign tapped two former Southern Baptist Convention presidents, a former agency head and a Dallas pastor who has prayed at several of his campaign events for a new executive board to advise the presumptive Republican nominee on issues important to evangelicals and people of faith.
The group, which was not asked to endorse Trump for president, will convene on a regular basis. Some of the members were responsible for organizing Trump’s meeting with hundreds of Christian leaders June 21 in New York City.
“I have such tremendous respect and admiration for this group and I look forward to continuing to talk about the issues important to vangelicals, and all Americans, and the common sense solutions I will implement when I am president,” Trump said.
Members of the group include Ronnie Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas, who just finished his second one-year term as SBC president at the 2016 SBC annual meeting in St. Louis, joins former SBC President Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church on Plano, Texas, who led the convention in 2003-2004.
Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas and a Fox News contributor who has spoken favorably for Trump amid criticism from evangelical leaders including SBC Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore, is a member of the advisory group. So is Moore’s predecessor, former ERLC head Richard Land, now president of Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, N.C.
Other Southern Baptists in the group include Jay Strack, president of Student Leadership University, and David Jeremiah, senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church.
Others named to the group include prosperity gospel preacher Paula White, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., Focus on the Family founder James Dobson and James Robison, founder of Life Outreach International.
Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition is a member, along with Former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.
Trump said the executive board will lead a larger Faith and Cultural Advisory Committee to be announced later this month.