Will 100 Black Pastors Endorse Donald Trump for President on Monday?
A coalition of about 100 African-American pastors are scheduled to meet with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday and are reportedly going to announce their support for the real estate mogul's presidential bid.
The New York Times reports that Trump's campaign announced this week that the Republican frontrunner will meet with the group of black pastors at 1 p.m. Monday at the Trump Tower in Manhattan.
According to the Times, the meeting will precede an announcement from the pastors that they will be endorsing Trump for president. The event will be televised on the Now Network's Roku channel, mobile app and website.
ClutchMagOnline.com posted an advertisement for the meeting and lists a number of the black pastors that will be participating. Bishop Clarence McClendon of the Full Harvest International Church in Los Angeles, Bishop Hezekiah Walker of the Love Fellowship Tabernacle megachurch in New York and Darrell Scott from the New Spirit Revival Center in Ohio are among the pastors who will take part in the event.
The meeting comes just weeks after a Black Lives Matter protester was beaten up at a Trump campaign rally last Saturday by six white attendees. Trump didn't help his cause with the African-American community when he suggested Sunday that the protester who interrupted his rally "maybe should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing."
Scott, the minister who helped organize the the coalition of African-American pastors, told The New York Times that after finally meeting Trump in September, he detected no hints of racism and also determined that Trump is the best candidate suited to become the next president.
"I was looking for some subtle hints of racism," Scott, a Democrat who voted for President Barack Obama, said. "I didn't see it at all."
Scott, who is the CEO of the Radio 1000 gospel radio station, stated that he was impressed by Trump's leadership ability and with his plans to improve the economy. The pastor added that when he closed his eyes and listened to what the candidates had to say, he was most impressed with Trump.
Scott assured that Trump has never made any donations to his Ohio congregation.
In September, Trump met with a smaller racially diverse group of religious leaders, which also included Scott. The meeting lasted about two-and-a-half hours and ended with the pastors gathering around Trump to bless him in prayer.
During the meeting, some of the pastors asked Trump to tone down some of his brash rhetoric. Scott told CBN News that Trump acknowledged the message by nodding his head.
"I think Donald Trump changed the opinion of the African-American pastors that were in the room," Scott told ClutchMagOnline. "They saw a side of him outside of the media depiction, and that they would give strong consideration in regard to supporting his candidacy."
Although Trump is beginning to win the hearts of some religious leaders, others remain wary of Trump's presidential bid.
Following Trump's meeting in September, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Russell Moore, argued in an op-ed for the Times that Evangelicals who support Donald Trump for president are betraying their moral values.
"Jesus taught his disciples to 'count the cost' of following Him. We should know, he said, where we're going and what we're leaving behind. We should also count the cost of following Donald Trump," Moore wrote. "To do so would mean that we've decided to join the other side of the culture war, that image and celebrity and money and power and social Darwinist 'winning' trump the conservation of moral principles and a just society."