Just weeks after the now infamous photo of evangelical leaders praying over President Donald Trump went viral, well-known Christian preachers and leaders again returned to Washington, D.C., last week for a series of “listening sessions.”
The meetings, which were held at the Eisenhower Executive Office and organized by the White House Office of Public Liaison, featured nearly 100 Christian leaders and activists — a group that was comprised of some people who had not previously been involved in meetings between the administration and faith leaders, The Christian Post reported.
“The White House has continued to have listening sessions with evangelical leaders and they had three more this week,” Johnnie Moore, an author, speaker and informal White House adviser, told the Post on Friday. “Almost 100 evangelicals [took part]. Each listening session was about two hours and involved briefings from administration officials and an opportunity for folks to express their thoughts on various issues.”
Moore went on to say that each meeting was comprised of different groups of people, with a multi-denominational gathering unfolding on Thursday morning and a mostly Southern Baptist Convention meeting happening on Thursday afternoon.
The topics of conversation ranged from Obamacare to judicial appointments — and, according to Moore, additional meetings are expected in the future.
“It’s a listening session. It’s not about these leaders coming so they can be lectured to,” Moore told the Post. “It’s about actually making an opportunity to come to the White House as citizens and faith leaders and talking about what was on their mind.”
Ronnie Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in Arkansas, participated in both meetings held on Thursday, saying the goal was to “try and widen the circles” by bringing in faith leaders who weren’t included in the initial wave of well-known faith advisers who came in to pray for Trump last month. Read more about the gathering here.
News of additional meetings between White House officials and Christian leaders comes amid reports that a weekly Bible study featuring members of Trump’s cabinet “is making history.” As Faithwire previously reported, this group of prominent Republicans is led by Ralph Drollinger, a preacher who founded Capitol Ministries in Washington, D.C., in 2010.
And the gathering is also sponsored by Vice President Mike Pence as well as numerous cabinet secretaries, the outlet noted in an April article. The Bible study is a rarity in government, and, according to Drollinger, a similar study among cabinet members potentially hasn’t happened in over a century.