Did Trump’s Spiritual Adviser Ask People to Send Her Their January Salaries?
Paula White, a member of President Trump’s evangelical advisory committee, asked her followers to donate their January salaries to her ministry.
Paula White is a televangelist pastor who preaches the “prosperity gospel”, described by the Washington Post as “the theology that God will bless true believers not just with eternal salvation but with material wealth here on Earth.” She has allegedly been close to Donald Trump since well before his 2016 bid for the presidency, and she helped him orchestrate his meeting with hundreds of evangelical leaders during his presidential campaign. She was one of six religious leaders to pray at his January 2017 inauguration.
White is a controversial figure whose sermons compel her followers to give “seed offerings” to White’s ministry. Her followers’ generosity (in giving money directly to White’s ministry), she teaches, will result in God’s blessing and their future prosperity. Her ministry has been investigated by the U.S. Senate, and though they found no wrongdoing, the investigation demonstrated the significant personal wealth White has enjoyed as a result of running her ministry.
A large part of White’s website involves the notion of giving “first fruits.” Citing Deuteronomy 16:16 (“do not stand before the Lord empty-handed”), White implored her followers in January 2019 to donate their first fruit offering directly to her ministry, and she provided a P.O. box number to which they could send checks. One of her suggestions was that followers should send her “a portion of their first month’s salary.”