The first time Paula White prayed with Donald Trump, it was when he was host of reality TV show The Apprentice. A little over a decade later, White was leading the nation in prayer when the billionaire was inaugurated as 45th president of the United States.
White is not only Trump’s closest spiritual confidante but also one of his most vocal defenders during his first seven months in office. On Monday, during an interview on right-wing talk show The Jim Bakker Show, White, 51, suggested that those who criticize or oppose Trump are opposing God’s work.
“He’s been raised up by God because God says that he raises up and places all people in places of authority. It is God that raises up a king, it is God that sets one down, and so when you fight against the plan of God, you’re fighting against the hand of God,” said White.
White’s friendship with Trump has dovetailed with her rise to prominence as a popular televangelist and pastor. Born in Mississippi, White had a turbulent childhood: Her father committed suicide, and she claims to have been sexually and physically abused as a teenager. She converted to Christianity at the age of 18, after claiming to have seen a vision in which God told her that he wanted her to preach the Gospel.
Since 2012, White has been the senior pastor at New Destiny Christian Center, a megachurch in Florida that draws thousands of worshippers to its weekly services. She also heads up Paula White Ministries and is a regular Christian commentator on television and radio. Like Trump, she has been married three times; her present…
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