She is seemingly the only evangelical leader to come to Donald Trump’s defense, while most others lash out against his sharp tongue and nasty political rhetoric.
She is Paula White, senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida. White delivered a prayer at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland back in July. “Help us to pray like we mean it,” she said. “Protect us from all those who aim to destroy us, and make America safe again.” She’s made good on taking Trump’s language and changing it into prayerful commentary. It’s a skill not uncommon to televangelists, and the 50-year-old White is no exception. So why has White found herself in the Trump camp while so many of her cohorts ran the other way? “I found out that he loved God,” she said back in March. “I found a very caring man…A compassionate man.” White has risen above a difficult childhood. She described herself as a “messed-up Mississippi girl.” She was sexually abused as a child, and her father committed suicide when she was only five. She has been at the head of New Destiny since 2012 when she took over for church founder Zachery Tims, who died of a cocaine and heroin overdose.
The political marriage of Trump and White is more likely than it appears. Both have been married three times, and both have experienced success on TV…Trump with The Apprentice, and White with her Christian programming. And both enjoy spending the money they’ve made to enjoy life. As for Trump’s lack of culture in the religious realm? White defends that too. “He doesn’t know our Christianese,” she said recently, but that is no reason to think that he doesn’t love God or isn’t saved. “That’s the furthest thing from the truth.”