Evangelicals for Trump to Hold Kickoff Event at Hispanic Church in Miami in Early January

US President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up during a Keep America Great Rally at Kellogg Arena December 18, 2019, in Battle Creek, Michigan. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump campaign announced on Friday that the newly formed “Evangelicals for Trump” coalition will hold its January 3 kickoff event at the El Rey Jesus Church in Miami, Florida.

The campaign had announced the previous Friday that the event would be held in the Miami area, but the specific location was not known until Friday’s announcement.

Florida Politics reported:

President Donald Trump will hold his “Evangelicals for Trump” coalition kickoff at El Rey Jesús in Miami, according to an announcement Friday.

“The event will bring together evangelicals from across the nation who support President Trump’s re-election,” the announcement from his campaign said.

The campaign announced the event and that it was set for 5 p.m. Jan. 3 last week, but the campaign did not release the location until Friday. Guillermo Maldonado, the megachurch’s lead pastor, has publicly praised the President and visited the White House.

The Tampa Bay Times reported the location of the January 3 Evangelicals for Trump kickoff rally, the El Rey Jesus Church, is also known as King Jesus International Ministry and is “believed to be one of the largest Hispanic churches in the country. The West Kendall church — the flagship of a chain of 10 affiliated congregations located from Chicago to Homestead — regularly draws thousands to its English-and Spanish-language services and boasts its own streaming platform.”

“It’s a massive congregation, with thousands of people. And it’s a lot of swing voters,” former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) told the Times.

The El Rey Jesus Church website posted this statement about the January 3 Evangelicals for Trump kickoff event that will be held there:

As believers, the Bible calls us to pray for our governmental leaders. This helps our nation live a quiet and peaceful life. “It is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.”

For this reason, our ministry joyfully opens its doors for this event. Together, with other Christians in attendance, we will ask God in prayer to bless our leaders and our president with wisdom to guide our nation, as the Bible instructs us to do.

We are not organizing or managing the event, simply opening our doors and praying for our government leaders.

High levels of support from evangelical Christian voters played an important role in the president’s 2016 electoral victory, as Breitbart News reported in December 2017:

In his new book, The Day Christians Changed America, Dr. George Barna, a leading researcher on the intersection of faith, culture, and politics argues that “Christian conservatives put [Donald] Trump in the White House.”

“When all the hyperbole is stripped away, and the countless actors who played minor roles are done pontificating about how it was they who shaped the November [2016] outcome, the empirical evidence shows that it was Christian conservatives — especially an unheralded group known as SAGE Cons [an acronym for Spiritually Active, Governance Engaged Conservatives] — who pushed the Trump-Pence tandem to the top of the mountain,” Barna says.

SAGE Cons, Barna says, while constituting ten percent of all voters, cast their ballots for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton by a 93 percent to one percent margin, and that overwhelming margin turned the tide for Trump in key swing states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, and North Carolina.

Barna analyzed the results of the 2016 presidential election based on the voting behavior of voters whom he divided into six different faith groups. Two of those faith groups as Barna defines them — SAGE Cons and evangelicals — combined for 17 percent of the voting population.

  • Ten percent were SAGE Cons, who had a 91 percent turnout rate and voted for Trump over Clinton by a 93 percent to one percent margin.
  • Seven percent were evangelicals, who had a 61 percent turnout rate and voted for Trump over Clinton by a 79 percent to 18 percent margin.
  • 24 percent were non-evangelical born again Christians, who had a 58 percent turnout rate and voted for Trump over Clinton by a 56 percent to 35 percent margin.
  • 43 percent were notional Christians, who had a 59 percent turnout rate and voted for Trump over Clinton by a 49 percent to 47 percent margin.
  • Five percent were non-Christian faith, who had a 57 percent turnout rate and voted for Clinton over Trump by a 71 percent to 20 percent margin.
  • 21 percent were skeptics, who had a 57 percent turnout rate and voted for Clinton over Trump by a 60 percent to 27 percent margin.

Pew Research offered a similar analysis of the voting behavior of white born again/evangelical Christians in the 2016 presidential election.

According to their November 9, 2016 analysis of election results, Pew Research concluded that white born again/evangelical Christians, who comprised 26 percent of the 2016 voting population, voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton by an 81 percent to 16 percent margin.

Given this 2016 voting behavior, it was no surprise that a formal coalition of evangelical Christians would be part of President Trump’s 2020 campaign, but there had been no specific announcement until a week ago Friday. That initial announcement came two days after Christianity Today published an editorial call for the removal of President Trump from office.

No announcement has been made about who will be on the leadership team of the Evangelicals for Trump Coalition.

However, since the Christianity Today editorial was published, hundreds of prominent evangelical leaders, including Franklin Graham, Dr. James Dobson, and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, have announced their support for the president and criticized the Christianity Today for publishing the anti-Trump editorial.

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