Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., a megachurch pastor and longtime conservative Christian activist who served as an evangelical adviser to President Donald Trump, has died at age 66.
The leadership of Hope Christian Church of Beltsville, Maryland, where Jackson served as senior pastor, posted a statement to Facebook on Monday announcing his passing.
“It is with a heavy heart that we notify you that our beloved Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr. has transitioned to be with the Lord on November 9, 2020,” stated the church.
“Information about the memorial service will be forthcoming. Please pray for the Jackson Family’s comfort and respect their right to privacy at this time.”
The church did not specify the cause of death and did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
The Rev. Franklin Graham, head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, took to Facebook to give condolences, saying that a “great man of God has been called to heaven.”
“Bishop Jackson was a true friend of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was with us in Washington on September 26 for Prayer March 2020 where he led in prayer for Vice President Mike Pence and our nation, and then joined me as we went to the Oval Office to pray for President Donald J. Trump,” stated Graham.
“I was privileged to see Bishop Jackson again in the Rose Garden for the announcement of Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court Justice. He was a man who stood for truth and was a great supporter of the Lord’s work around the world. His voice will be missed.”
In addition to serving as senior pastor of Hope Christian Church, Jackson was the founder and chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and headed Harry Jackson Ministries.
In 2005, he co-authored a book with evangelical pollster George Barna titled High Impact African American Churches: Leadership Concepts from Some of Today's Most Effective Churches.
Jackson was active in many causes, including the pro-life movement, the traditional marriage movement, racial reconciliation, Confederate flag displays, and criminal justice reform.
In 2016, Jackson joined the evangelical advisory board for then presidential candidate Donald Trump, even though at the time he had not endorsed a candidate for the election.
“The white evangelical church is often involved in a lot of righteousness issues — marriage, life, gambling, things of that nature,” Jackson told The Christian Post at the time. “But a lot of the majority of the folks from the black community and/or Hispanic community have been concerned about what justice looks like for their community.”
“As I have personally shared with [President Trump], urban safety strategies teamed with economic uplift are critical for long term racial healing in our nation,” wrote Jackson.
“People who own the places they live in are far less apt to destroy them. They are often the most invested in their community’s economic progress. As a pastor, I preach and teach financial literacy and accountability, concepts that in our faith we commonly refer to as ‘stewardship.’”
In 2018, Jackson’s wife Vivian, who had served as Christian education and women's pastor at Hope Christian Church and previously fought a battle against blood cancer, passed away.
Years ago, Jackson had survived a battle with esophageal cancer, undergoing a surgery that included two types of chemotherapy and resulted in him losing 70 pounds.
“I'm alive because there's a God that will take you up through your worst moment,” stated Jackson when recalling the surgery at an ex-gay conference in 2013.
“Your sins may be different than mine, but at the end of the day we've got to go to the same cross and get the same blood, and if we don't go that way, whatever temporary victory we think we have will soon erode before our eyes.”