On Saturday in Detroit, Michigan, America saw a side of Donald Trump it has rarely seen during this presidential election cycle.
Trump made a campaign stop at Great Faith Ministries Church in Detroit, a predominantly African-American Christian church. The Republican nominee spoke for about 20 minutes to the congregation with both passion and humility.
“Today, I’m here to listen,” said Trump. He assured the faithful, “I mean it from the heart.”
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As he began his remarks, which he wrote himself a few days earlier, he told the congregation, “I think you will understand it even better than I do in certain ways.”
And then he was off, making arguably one of his best speeches this side of his announcement that he was running for president.
“For centuries the African-American church has been the conscience of our country,” he told the congregation. “It’s from the pews and pulpits and Christian teachings of black churches all across this land that the civil rights movement lifted up its soul and lifted up the soul of our nation.”
“It’s from these pews that our nation has been inspired toward a better moral character, a deeper concern for mankind and spirit of charity and unity that binds us all together,” Trump said.
It was a powerful comment about the strength of African-American faith communities and the role they played in the civil rights movement, and then he said, “Our nation is too divided.” Trump also described being the nominee of Abraham Lincoln’s party as the greatest privilege of his life.
“This has been an amazing day for me,” he told the congregation. “To listen to your message — and I hope my presence here today will help your message reach new voices.”
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He spoke of unity and healing in a direct, forthright and compassionate way. He broke through the usual political posturing and spoke honestly, person-to-person, American to American.
“The African-American faith community has been one of God’s greatest gifts to America and to its people,” said Trump. “There is perhaps no action that our leaders can take that would do more to heal our country and support our people than to provide a greater platform to the black churches and churchgoers.”
“We talk past each other and not to each other. And those who seek office do not do enough to step into the community and learn what’s going on,” said Donald Trump.
Trump’s willingness to extend a hand and ask the necessary help of the faith and African-American church communities to heal the nation is a surprise to many. But countless people are hearing this message of unity — and embracing it.
“We talk past each other and not to each other. And those who seek office do not do enough to step into the community and learn what’s going on,” he said. “I’m here today to learn, so that we can together remedy injustice in any form, and so that we can also remedy economics so that the African-American community can benefit economically through jobs and income and so many other different ways.”
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He also said, “I want to help you build and rebuild Detroit. I fully understand that the African-American community has suffered from discrimination and there are many wrongs that should be made right.”
He concluded his clear and quite frankly beautiful message Saturday with these words, quoting John 1, Chapter 4, and asking those gathered there to pray it with him.
“‘No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.'”
After Trump’s remarks, Bishop Wayne Jackson, pastor of the church, draped a prayer shawl over Trump’s shoulders as the crowd applauded, and handed him a Jewish Heritage Study Bible. “It’s going to be sometimes in your life that you’re going to feel forsaken, you’re going to feel down, but the anointing is going to lift you up,” the pastor said to Trump, as the candidate listened closely and was genuinely moved by the gesture. “I prayed over this personally and I fasted over it and I wanted to just put this on you.”
Naturally, media on the Left took pains to mention the protestors who had gathered outside the church, and some, including CNN, did not even include the entire Trump address.