Evangelical Leaders Meet at White House for ‘Listening Sessions’; But is Trump Really Listening?

Faith leaders pose for a picture outside of the White House on July 27, 2017 after they met with White House officials. The photo was posted to Twitter by Tennessee Pastor Jordan Easily.

Donald Trump’s White House expanded its engagement with faith leaders last week by holding three different listening sessions that featured nearly 100 different Christian leaders and activists, participants have told The Christian Post.

Just weeks after a gathering of about 30 evangelical leaders met for an all-day workday in Washington on July 10 that was highlighted by a prayer session over the president in the Oval Office, the White House Office of Public Liaison expanded its evangelical outreach by inviting faith leaders who have not yet been involved in previous meetings with the administration to voice their concerns and thoughts.

Johnnie Moore, a prominent evangelical figure who serves as an informal adviser to the White House, told CP that he attended all three meetings held at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington.

“The White House has continued to have listening sessions with evangelical leaders and they had three more this week. Almost 100 evangelicals [participated],” Moore, who heads a public relations company that serves many notable evangelical pastors, said Friday. “Each listening session was about two hours and involved briefings from administration officials and an opportunity for folks to express their thoughts on various issues.”

Moore explained that each meeting featured different groups of leaders. The Thursday morning meeting, Moore said, featured a multi-denominational group of ministry leaders while the Thursday afternoon meeting featured mostly leaders from the Southern Baptist Convention.

“It wasn’t just the group from two weeks ago, it was other people,” Moore stated. “The White House is interested in hearing from a large group of leaders.”

Others who participated in at least one of the three meetings are California evangelist Greg Laurie, social conservative radio host and apologist Michael Brown and former Southern Baptist Convention presidents Jack Graham and Ronnie Floyd. Moore told CP that Anne Graham Lotz, an evangelist and daughter of Billy Graham, was present for at least one of the meetings. Florida televangelist Paula White, one of Trump’s most trusted faith advisers, also participated.

Floyd, who pastors Cross Church in Arkansas, told CP on Sunday that he participated in both of the Thursday meetings.

“The goal has been evidently to try and widen the circles,” Floyd explained. “The meetings two to three weeks ago were mostly some of the main faith leaders who had been around ever since we had been asked to serve in helping a year ago along the way especially after the president was elected to advise him on matters. That is all we have every done is that and to pray for him.”

According to Moore, the listening sessions included quick briefings on various issues from officials in White House’s legislative and judicial affairs departments. Most of the meetings, Moore added, consisted of open-table discussions between the leaders with White House officials in the room taking notes.

“It’s a listening session. It’s not about these leaders coming so they can be lectured to,” Moore said. “It’s about actually making an opportunity to come to the White House as citizens and faith leaders and talking about what was on their mind.”

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Samuel Smith