Some ministers from a coalition of about 100 African-American pastors, who were scheduled to meet with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday, have said they will not endorse him for president, contrary to a press release by the real estate magnate.
“I am not officially endorsing ANY candidate and when I do you will NOT need to hear it from pulpitting courtjesters who suffer from intellectual and spiritual myopia,” Bishop Clarence McClendon of the Full Harvest International Church in Los Angeles, wrote in a Facebook post.
The bishop’s comment came after the New York Times reported that Trump’s campaign had announced that the Republican frontrunner would meet with the group of black pastors at 1 p.m. Monday at the Trump Tower in Manhattan. The meeting will precede an announcement from the pastors that they will be endorsing Trump for president, and the event will be televised on the Now Network’s Roku channel, mobile app and website.
“Let me be clear,” Bishop Corletta Vaughn, the Senior Pastor of the Holy Spirit Cathedral of Faith in Detroit, wrote on her Facebook. “I was invited to attend a gathering of clergy to listen to Mr. Trump on Monday November 30. I respectively declined as I do not support nor will endorse Donald Trump.”
Bishop Paul Morton, a prominent pastor in Atlanta, tweeted, “I was asked 2 meet with Mr Trump too but I refused because until he learns how to respect people you can’t represent me thru my endorsement.”
Pastor Darrell Scott from the New Spirit Revival Center in Ohio, who had organized the meeting, is the only one who has said he will endorse Trump.
“They told me, ‘I don’t know if I’m ready to endorse yet. I want to see him and I want hear his heart.'” Scott told The Daily Beast.
“All of these guys are my friends and they know me. I let them know I am endorsing but that doesn’t mean you are endorsing,” Scott, the CEO of the Radio 1000 gospel radio station, added.
ClutchMagOnline.com earlier posted an advertisement for the meeting with a list of the black pastors that will be participating. Bishop McClendon, Bishop Hezekiah Walker of the Love Fellowship Tabernacle megachurch in New York and Scott were included in the list.
Just weeks ago, a Black Lives Matter protester was beaten up at a Trump campaign rally by six white attendees. Trump later suggested that the protester who interrupted his rally “maybe should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”
Scott earlier stated that he was impressed by Trump’s leadership ability and with his plans to improve the economy. The pastor added that when he closed his eyes and listened to what the candidates had to say, he was most impressed with Trump.