Paula White to head Trump's faith office

November 18, 2019
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Paula White, a Pentecostal preacher and longtime adviser to President Donald Trump, has been tapped to head the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative, a successor to previous administrations’ faith-based office that coordinates outreach to religious communities.

“Paula White is the Advisor to the [White House] Faith and Oppor­tunity Initiative,” reads a statement the White House sent to Religion News Service. A White House spokes­person later said, “She is heading up that initiative.” The news of White’s new role was first reported by the New York Times.

The appointment of the popular author and former pastor of a Florida megachurch, sometimes called “the Trump whisperer” for her closeness to the president, has been long anticipated.

White prayed at a rally in June of this year when Trump announced his reelection bid, saying, “Let every demonic network who has aligned itself against the purpose, against the calling of President Trump, let it be broken, let it be torn down in the name of Jesus!”

White was at Trump’s side in May 2018 when he signed an executive order creating the Faith and Opportunity Initiative in a Rose Garden ceremony on the National Day of Prayer. At that ceremony, Trump called White “my good friend . . . who’s done such an incredible job” and asked her to stand from her seat in the audience.

In August 2018, during a meeting of what the White House called “inner city pastors,” White specifically mentioned an initiative when it was her turn to introduce herself, saying to the president, “It’s an honor to serve you with our faith initiative and opportunity,” according to the White House transcript.

White has also been a member of Trump’s informal evangelical advisory board, a group of evangelical pastors who gather frequently at the White House to support the president and offer him advice. —Religion News Service