On Sunday (December 20), former president Donald Trump presented a special address to worshippers at First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. The megachurch is pastored by Robert Jeffress, who is a frequent contributor to Fox News and served on Trump’s faith advisory team during the 45th president’s tenure.
During his address, Trump read from prepared remarks, adding his own comments about Afghanistan, inflation, and police reform. The service was streamed live to First Baptist Dallas’ YouTube page.
After the opening hymns, Jeffress came to the stage to welcome the church, promoting the church’s Christmas Eve services alongside his upcoming appearances on Fox News. Jeffress then welcomed Trump to the service, calling him a great personal friend, a friend of First Baptist Dallas, and a great friend “to Christians everywhere.” Jeffress said that Trump’s Christmas address would be the “climax and conclusion of the service.”
In his sermon entitled “What If There Were No Christmas,” Jeffress explained that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies about Him, lived a perfect life, and died so that believers could experience salvation in Him.
After a prayer of salvation at the end of his message, Jeffress then quickly transitioned to effusively complimenting Trump before inviting him to take the stage. Trump received an extended standing ovation, and many within the crowd can be seen pulling out their phones to record the moment.
“Robert, I want to thank you so much. You know, you never told me how beautiful this [church] is. This is a real place. What a real job you’ve done too. Highly respected man,” Trump said. “And it is true, I was a little insulted when I first met [Jeffress]. I met him through watching television. He does very well on television in spreading the word. And he started talking about a man he watched and he’s been watching. And, ‘He may not know the bible as well as all of us. But he loves God. He loves Jesus. And he’s a leader, and he’s going to lead us into great things, and helping and saving Christianity.’”
Trump was referring to Jeffress’ assessment of him during his presidential campaign. During Trump’s candidacy and eventual presidential tenure, the two became close allies and friends.
“And we’ve done a real job,” Trump continued, referring to his bid to “save” Christianity. “And, as you know, we’re in trouble now. We’re in trouble. I think our nation’s in great trouble. I don’t think we’ve ever had a time like this with what happened in Afghanistan. The way that was done so badly. And you look at the borders and you look at the inflation, which is going to rip our country to pieces.”
“I will say that there’s a lot of clouds hanging over our country right now—very dark clouds. But we will come back bigger and better and stronger than ever before. I’m telling you that,” Trump said to an applauding crowd.
“We won’t let this happen. We won’t let it happen,” Trump said. “But I will say the love all over the country is incredible. They want to see things happen. They love our country and they want to see good things happen. And that will take place.”
Trump then gestured toward the binder containing his prepared remarks, saying, “And, you know, they wrote these beautiful words for me. Look at these beautiful words. But I said, ‘I really would rather speak from the heart,’ okay, if that makes sense?”