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Evangelicals in America: Your Messiah

Evangelicals in America: Your Messiah

Leon Benjamin looks back fondly on his visit to the White House. American flags mingled with Christmas decorations on the facade of the State Capitol as Trump's first year in office came to a close. Benjamin traveled with his family from Richmond, Virginia to promote the Republican tax reform bill, which would pass Congress a few days later. “Meeting the president was an experience,” he recalls.

At first glance, Benjamin doesn't really fit the occasion. He is neither an economist nor a businessman. He is a preacher. About 20 years ago, he founded New Life Harvest Church, an evangelical free church on a highway on the edge of Richmond, the capital of Virginia, 100 miles from Washington. A place of worship is not a megachurch. Benjamin estimates that an average of a hundred, perhaps a hundred and fifty, worshipers attend his services in a church surrounded by wholesale markets and auto repair shops. Nevertheless, the White House found out about him and invited the pastor to an event with the most powerful man in the world. “God bless you,” Benjamin hailed the president from the lectern. “We will continue to pray for you and your team as you lead this new future in America.” Trump thanked him in his own way: “He can be my pastor at any time,” joked the head of state with a smile.

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