Trump Becomes the First President Since Eisenhower to Change Faiths in Office
Like many Christians switching churches, he now identifies as nondenominational
More than 180,000 people have stopped identifying with the Presbyterian Church (USA) in the past four years, according to official church numbers. Now there’s one more: President Donald Trump.
Trump told Religion News Service last week in a written interview mediated by spiritual advisor Paula White-Cain that he doesn’t consider himself to be Presbyterian. He was confirmed in the church and has called himself Presbyterian numerous times over the years. But no more.
“I now consider myself to be a non-denominational Christian,” Trump said in the statement. “Melania and I have gotten to visit some amazing churches and meet with great faith leaders from around the world. During the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak, I tuned into several virtual church services and know that millions of Americans did the same.”
While the mainline denomination has previously challenged Trump’s affiliation, his recent departure seems to be the result of the president slowly moving away from his childhood church and toward a more evangelical faith.
Trump was not a regular churchgoer before he was elected president. He attended Norman Vincent Peale’s church for a while and praises Peale’s book The Power of Positive Thinking. He has also attended Episcopal churches for several Christmas and Easter services. In 2016, he was described by one prominent evangelical supporter as a “baby Christian.”
Since moving to the White House, however, he has visited many different churches, mostly evangelical and Pentecostal. He has met with numerous ministers, been prayed over, and sought the advice of spiritual counselors like White-Cain, a Florida televangelist often associated with the prosperity gospel, …
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June 16, 2021