Just days after a new tell-all book explained that former President Donald Trump’s June 2020 photo op at St. John’s Church near the White House was his daughter’s idea, Trump has announced where he’ll be this year the Sunday morning before Christmas — with his loyal advocate Robert Jeffress at First Baptist Church of Dallas.
Although not known as a churchgoer before, during or after his presidency — during his four years in the White House, one journal reported, he attend church 14 times, “including photo ops” — he reportedly changed church affiliations while president. Christianity Today reported in 2020 that Trump left his nominal ties to the Presbyterian Church of his youth and now identifies as a nondenominational Christian.
An examination of official White House records shows that during office Trump was what some pastors call a “chreaster,” someone who shows up only at Christmas and Easter.
This Christmas, the former president will be away from his Florida home visiting Texas as part of a series of rallies being held with TV personality Bill O’Reilly. Their “History Tour” started in Florida and will be in Houston this Saturday, followed by Dallas on Sunday afternoon at American Airlines Center.
The Dallas Morning News reported that while in Dallas, Trump will “celebrate the Christmas season by attending worship services at First Baptist Church.”
Jeffress told the Morning News: “We are blessed to have my friend and our 45th president to worship with us this Sunday morning at First Baptist Dallas. America has never had a more pro-life and pro-religious liberty president than Donald J. Trump.”
The pastor and Fox News commentator added: “The focus of the music and message this Sunday will be on the most important event in human history — the birth of Jesus Christ. President Trump is known for his love for Christmas and what it represents.”
Throughout his tenure at the downtown Dallas megachurch, Jeffress has brought in a series of high-profile conservative political figures for presentations during Sunday morning services. The church frequently employs billboards along major Dallas highways to promote the events.
On Dec. 5, Jeffress used his Sunday morning sermon to call President Joe Biden’s White House “the ungodliest presidential administration we’ve had in the history of our country.”
One of Jeffress’ best-known predecessors in the First Baptist pulpit, George W. Truett, is remembered for a stirring speech he gave on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in 1920 regarding religious liberty and the separation of church and state.
“There must be no union between church and state, because their nature and functions are utterly different,” Truett intoned. “Jesus stated the principle in the two sayings, ‘My kingdom is not of this world,’ and ‘Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.’ Never, anywhere, in any clime, has a true Baptist been willing, for one minute, for the union of church and state, never for a moment.”
During his two presidential campaigns and four years in office, Trump had few religious figures as close by his side and defending him against all manner of controversial comments and policies as Jeffress.
As for the political rally on Sunday afternoon — just a few blocks away from the church — Trump promised in promotional material that it will be “fun, fun, fun” and a “wonderful but hard-hitting” time for him to talk about “the real problems happening in the U.S.”
“I will be focusing on greatness for our country, something seldom discussed in political dialogue,” he said. “If we don’t make our country great again, we will soon no longer have a country!”
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