The Family Research Council organized the one-hour call and their president, Tony Perkins, led it. It was filled with prayers for Trump, Pence, and Carson but also with a discussion about ways churches can assemble in creative ways during this time including holding “drive-in” worship services. As for Trump, Pence, and Carson, they provided encouragement for churches to comply with federal guidelines during this critical 15-day period. During the call, Perkins prayed for the president, Pastor Carter Conlon from Times Square Church in New York prayed for Vice President Pence and Paula White prayed for Secretary Ben Carson. Audio of the call will be sent out to 15,000 pastors nationwide as part of FRC’s, “Watchmen On The Wall” ministry.
President Trump’s remarks stayed true to form as to what he’s been relaying at the daily coronavirus briefings. He briefly dabbled into election politics telling them to remember that even though the coronavirus is dominating all the headlines, there’s a big election coming that will be, “one of the biggest dates in the history of religion.”
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Vice President Pence told the pastors that he was inspired by so many churches abiding by the federal government’s guidelines and asked the pastors specifically to send the administration’s two-page tips and advice sheet to every member of their church. He was especially grateful for many of the churches that have been stepping up to run food banks, “It’s making a huge, huge difference,” Pence told those on the call. “You are showing the greatness of America’s character.”
He appreciated how many churches were suspending church services out of an abundance of caution and appreciated the financial sacrifice involved considering they run their operations based on tithes and offerings. Pence said he would do his part to try and encourage Americans to continue giving despite not being at service on Sunday morning. “We’ll help echo that from our briefings,” Pence told the pastors. “We will make a gentle reminder and encouragement to Americans to continue to support those ministries even if they’re not in the pews on Sunday morning.” Indeed, after the Friday phone call, Pence did exactly that at Saturday’s daily coronavirus briefing.
Pence did the majority of the talking on the call as he has been tasked with leading the coronavirus task force. He encouraged the pastors with a Bible verse that stood out to him this past week after hearing it during a sermon he watched online at his home church. It was from Lamentations 3: 22:23 where it says, “His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
After Trump and Pence spoke, House and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson addressed the pastors. He told them Donald Trump needs prayer right now because “The President is under attack 24/7.” He then gave God credit by pointing out how things could be even worse economically right now if it weren’t for a great economy. “What if this had not happened during a time when we were experiencing tremendous economic gains?” Carson told the pastors. “What if it has happened during the time of economic depression? Can you imagine what would’ve happened? God is merciful… Let’s pray for God’s intervention and to show his visible power.”