His beliefs and politics: Reed is a longtime Republican. He began serving with the University of Georgia College Republicans and rose up to serve as a party leader at the state level before his involvement in the Bush-Cheney campaigns. He came to faith after college at an Assemblies of God church in the Washington, D.C., area. He is vocally pro-Israel and advocated for recent religious liberty legislation in his home state of Georgia. Both Reed and his coalition support immigration reform.
His Trump ties: Reed praised Trump’s decision to identify as pro-life in 2011, and later that year, Trump spoke at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Morality event. Trump also gave remarks at this month’s conference—the first presidential candidate ever scheduled to do so. Reed did not endorse any candidate during the GOP primaries, but now is planning major get-out-the-vote efforts for Trump. He has appeared on several political news programs to defend and explain Trump’s appeal.
The Megachurch Pastors
A. R. Bernard, pastor of New York’s biggest megachurch
Who he is: Bernard serves as lead pastor at the Christian Cultural Center, a megachurch in Brooklyn, and is the well-connected president of New York City’s Council of Churches. The born-again banker left the finance industry for ministry in the late 1970s. His church, renamed the Christian Cultural Center in 2000, boasts 30,000 members. Once a spiritual seeker and member of the Nation of Islam, Bernard went on to criticize its theology, but continues to focus on issues faced by African Americans and Hispanics in the inner city. (Bernard himself is Panamanian-American.) He recently released a relationship book called Four Things Women Want from a Man.
His evangelical ties: The prominent pastor came to faith through the ministry of gang member turned evangelist Nicky Cruz; Bernard’s testimony was featured in a 1996 issue of Charisma magazine. He was ordained in the Church of God in Christ, a prominently African American Pentecostal denomination. Bernard has developed relationships with African American Christian celebrities, including Denzel Washington (who considers Bernard his pastor), Will Smith, and Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts. He is friends with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson Jr., despite differences in politics.
His beliefs and politics: Bernard has repeatedly appeared on lists of the most influential people in New York and considered a mayoral run as a Republican in 2013, after having endorsed and worked with former mayor Michael Bloomberg. Last month, he criticized prosperity preaching and Trump’s faith.
His Trump ties: A New York Daily News columnist quoted Bernard as saying, “Mr. Trump asked me to be on an advisory board of clergy. I told him I’d be open to it, by that it did not mean an endorsement.” The column indicated Bernard was friends with both Trump, who he called “an opportunist,” and his opponent Hillary Clinton.
Robert Morris, author and Texas megachurch pastor
Who he is: Morris is the founder and senior pastor at Gateway Church in Texas, where award-winning singer-songwriter Kari Jobe is a worship pastor. He is the author of 14 books, including The Blessed Life and The Blessed Church, and is featured on the church’s weekly television program The Blessed Life.
His evangelical ties: Morris is on the board at The King’s University, oversees Brady Boyd’s New Life Church in Colorado Springs (where six people were shot in 2007), and is on the board of Mark Driscoll’s new Trinity Church in Arizona.
His beliefs and politics: Gateway Church created the Vote Under God website in 2016, which encourages Christians to vote. Gateway is aiming for 100 percent voter participation among its 36,000 members this fall. Morris identifies the definition of marriage, the right to life, government vs. private health care, the national debt, and religious freedoms as key issues.
His Trump ties: Morris has no previous public comments on Trump.
Jentezen Franklin, pastor and author
Who he is: Franklin is the senior pastor of Free Chapel, a church with locations in Georgia and California. His Southern-accented sermons can be viewed on Kingdom Connection, airing nationally through Trinity Broadcasting Network. He is also the author of several books on faith and fasting.
His evangelical ties: Free Chapel is part of the Church of God, a Pentecostal denomination with 7 million members globally. The church hosts an annual conference, Forward, which has featured popular evangelical speakers and musicians: Louie Giglio, Christine Caine, Judah Smith, Steven Furtick, Chris Tomlin, Israel Houghton, Toby Mac, and more. Franklin has spoken at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church, as well as Rich Wilkerson Jr.’s Vous Church.
His beliefs and politics: During the previous presidential election, Franklin declared himself pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, and pro-Israel. Now he says “he sees his peers with large media ministries speaking out for the first time politically,” according to Time magazine. Ben Carson offered a message at Free Chapel last year.
His Trump ties: He was “honored” to meet Trump at Paula White’s gathering in September and asked his followers to pray for Trump.
Harry Jackson, Maryland pastor
Who he is: Jackson, senior pastor at Hope Christian Church in Maryland, is the presiding bishop of the International Communion of Evangelical Churches (ICEC) and host of the radio show The Truth in Black and White. He founded the High Impact Leadership Coalition, which promotes families, education, health care, and wealth.
His evangelical ties: Jackson’s fellow leaders of ICEC are Joseph Mattera, Eugene Reeves, J. Alan Neal, Larry Palmer, Aubrey Shines, and Kyle Searcy. He is also involved in church efforts toward racial reconciliation. The book he co-authored with George Barna, High Impact African American Churches, received the 2005 Silver Medallion award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.
His beliefs and politics: Jackson is opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage. He filed a lawsuit against the District of Columbia after the elections board refused a ballot initiative on same-sex marriage, and when denied, followed it all the way up to the US Supreme Court (which also denied it). In previous presidential elections, he supported George W. Bush and John McCain. He formerly belonged to Ted Cruz’s advisory board.
His Trump ties: Jackson met with Trump in December, along with 100 other faith leaders. In May, Jackson wrote that Trump’s “large personality—with some careful tweaking—could resonate with some. But it is a longshot at best, and it will not happen without much more careful advice than he has been getting so far.”
“Coach” Tom Mullins, pastor
Who he is: Mullins is the founding pastor at Christ Fellowship Church in Florida, where John Maxwell is a teaching pastor. Mullins also co-founded Place of Hope, a residential home for abused and neglected children. He is the president of EQUIP, which aims to resource church leaders. Before becoming a pastor, Mullins was a high school and college football coach and athletic director.
His evangelical ties: Mullins appeared with fellow evangelical leaders, including Jim Garlow, John Hagee, and Ralph Reed, on Glenn Beck’s show in 2010. He has also been involved with Campus Crusade for Christ and is on the lead team of the church-planting network Association of Related Churches.
His beliefs and politics: Mullins supports the United States’ relationship with Israel and signed the letter in defense of traditional marriage after the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage last summer.
His Trump ties: Mullins has no previous public comments on Trump.
The Evangelicals Behind the Scenes
Johnnie Moore, evangelical advisor
Who he is: If there’s a major project or campaign aimed at the evangelical community, odds are, Johnnie Moore has been involved with it—and that includes the My Faith Votes event, which brought 900 evangelical leaders to New York hear from Trump earlier this week. As founder and president of consultant firm The Kairos Company, Moore also manages communication strategy for the forthcoming Museum of the Bible in Washington DC and for several evangelical leaders. He previously worked as chief-of-staff for TV producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey—responsible for The Bible and A.D.: The Bible Continues (as well as The Voice and Survivor).