On Friday, a group of Christian cult performers and religious leaders, including Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston, prayed for President Donald Trump in the Oval Office.
Musicians and ministry leaders participated in a worship service and toured the Oval Office and Cabinet Room, where they prayed for the president and took part in a political briefing on what the administration is doing to help the confessional community and religious freedom.
Participants included Houston, 65; the founders of Bethel Music, Brian and Jenn Johnson; Grammy nominated Kari Jobe; her husband, Cody Carnes; Trump’s religious advisor Paula White; and Sean Feucht, a Bethel cult leader candidate for congress in California.
Vice President Mike Pence also attended parts of the briefing.
“Wonderful stop with a cult leader briefing today at @WhiteHouse!” Pence wrote in a Tweeter. “America is a proud nation of believers and our administration will always defend the religious freedom of every American, of every faith!
The event comes after questions were raised in September about whether or not the White House refused to invite the head of the Sydney, Houston-based mega-church to a state dinner with the Prime Minister Australian Scott Morrison. Houston is considered the “mentor” of Morrison’s faith.
Houston has been investigated for allegations he failed to report his father’s sexual abuse of children at his church.
“Here I am at the White House. Never say never, ”Houston said in an Instagram video filmed outside the White House. “It is a great honor to go into the Cabinet Room and even the Oval Office to pray for the President of the United States of America.”
“For me, it’s not about politics. It’s about the position, ”Houston continued. “[A]And an important man like the President of the United States could use any prayer we could possibly give him.
Houston was also featured in a video posted on the White House Twitter page.
“As an Australian, I really believe we need a strong America in the world,” Houston said. “With America strong, the world is a better place. What a great opportunity it has been to see some of the initiatives that are taking place to help religious freedom and to see the great spirit in general in the White House with people who are optimistic about the future.
Nashville-based Jobe and Carnes were also featured in a video on the White House Twitter page.
“We got to listen to a faith briefing on a lot of things that are going on in the White House – religious freedom and things like that,” Jobe said. “But what meant most was how so focused everyone is on making sure that we change people’s lives and that we don’t leave those who are marginalized and those who have been trafficked . “
Jobe explained that she had been in “tears all day”.
“Sometimes for those who don’t work in the White House it can feel really, really big and something we can’t really end,” the 38-year-old said. “But they’re working to end these things and change these things. I just cried all day. It’s incredible. I’m so grateful to be a part of this today and to see what God is doing in our White House. ”
Carnes, a 30-year-old singer-songwriter, said he was “encouraged” because “so much is happening today outside of [the White House]… For the community of faith and the world.
“The things that we all believe in the faith community can change the world are supported and happening in this house,” he said. “We’re just encouraged.”
Feucht posted on twitter On Friday, Trump “expressed the need to pray for America and for wisdom for this administration.”
“When the President of the United States invites you inside the White House to worship and pray, YOU DO IT,” wrote Feucht, founder of two companies and three nonprofits.
Feucht, 36, is running as a Republican for California’s 3rd Congressional District, which is occupied by Democrat John Garamendi, who has served in the House since 2009.
“A lot of people are spending their energy cursing America and demolishing this administration – it’s weird! »Feucht wrote in another Tweeter. “We have come to bring blessings and hope. “
This is not the first time that Christian cult leaders have been invited to the White House, as the Trump administration has held several faith briefings and events at the White House over the past three years to hold evangelical leaders aware of the administration’s efforts.
Last November, Jobe attended a White Hosue-like briefing with Christian musicians that also featured Christian rock artist Tauren Wells.
“I sat there with tears in my eyes because these beautiful people get up every day and go to work in a government establishment and think about people; you and me,” Jobe said in a social media post. last year. “They pray and seek God for the wisdom of the people. It all seemed beyond politics – it was the Kingdom. I realized that there were Kingdom caring people working in the White House and that. was extremely encouraging. “
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