Carl Gallups hasn’t endorsed anyone for president – yet. But the popular pastor and author recently found himself giving the opening invocation at a massive Donald Trump rally in Pensacola, Florida.
And Gallups is warning doubters the Donald is the real thing when it comes to fighting for Christians, conservatives and America.
“He loves this nation and its heritage,” Gallups told WND. “He’s the anti-Obama, he’s the opposite of Obama. And he’s commander in chief material, he has that kind of presence, and he’d be tough on our enemies.”
After an unexpected invitation by the event organizers, Gallups addressed a standing room only crowd of more than 10,000 at the Pensacola Bay Center. In what has become a typical phenomenon at Trump rallies, thousands had to be turned away because they simply could not fit into the arena.
Gallups called the atmosphere “powerful and electric” and said Trump opponents should not underestimate Trump’s “rock star status.”
But at the beginning of the rally, it was Gallups who was the center of attention, as thousands of Trump supporters listened in total silence as the pastor of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church issued a call for national repentance.
The crowd stood at Gallups’ invitation “to honor the Lord God, the Creator of the heavens and the Earth, who has blessed this nation like no other nation has ever been blessed in the history of this planet.”
And Gallups, the author of several books including “Final Warning: Understanding the Trumpet Days of Revelation,” called for God to show his mercy on a nation which has turned its back on Him.
“We humbly ask as Abraham asked,” Gallups prayed. “Lord, if there is a percentage who still revere your name and your word, would you heal this land, would you bless this land? We ask for this healing Lord, not for our comfort or our prosperity, but for the glory of your name. Because we agree with your word – blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”
Gallups also spoke to his belief that the United States is at a turning point when it comes to the nation choosing to obey or defy God.
“We know we are at a pivotal point in the future of this nation,” Gallups said. “How well we know, oh Lord, that presidential elections matter. How well we know that righteousness exalts a nation but rebellion is a disgrace.”
Gallups told WND “you could hear a pin drop” while he was speaking. But thousands roared in approval when Gallups concluded: “Lord, by your hand we ask that you would bring real hope to this nation, real blessing to our land. Let it begin tonight. Let it begin in this place. Let it begin now. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, the name above all names. Amen.”
What followed was a rally which shocked many political observers with its size and enthusiasm.
“Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough, who once represented the Pensacola region as a Republican congressman, said the size of the rally was beyond anything he had ever seen with Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush. “I don’t get it as far as the size of these crowds go.”
Gallups argued Trump is appealing because the country is in the grips of a moral crisis.
“Our country desperately needs a house cleaning,” he told WND. “We need a spiritual house cleaning. But we also need a house cleaning in the halls of Congress and in the judicial chambers. We’ve wandered far from our heritage and far from the word of God.”
Gallups said he doesn’t look to Donald Trump or any other person to single-handedly create such a revolution. And Gallups, who has not yet endorsed Trump or anyone else, admitted he prefers a “top notch man of God to serve as president.”
But Gallups told WND Christians should remember Jimmy Carter was regarded by many as a godly man and “look how that worked out.”
“I’ve resigned myself to the fact we’re not electing a priest, we’re not electing a pastor, we’re electing a president,” Gallups said. “Yes, I’m voting for the lesser of two evils, at least until you have some breathing room. And we will always, always be voting for the lesser of the two evils until Jesus Christ returns and takes his throne.”
Gallups called Trump a “salty New Yorker,” but nonetheless rejected Sen. Ted Cruz’s recent allegation Trump’s supposed “New York values” were a liability.
Trump is, Gallups said, at the least, unashamed to publicly declare himself a Christian and could reverse the anti-Christian measures the pastor sees coming from the Obama administration.
“What we need is something that gives Christians the opportunity to practice our faith, share our faith and call our nation to repentance without being attacked and mocked for doing so,” he said.
Many evangelicals evidently believe Trump can provide just that.
The New York businessman has a surprising amount of support from evangelicals, which Trump is moving to consolidate with upcoming appearances at Liberty University and Regent University. And some observers believe evangelicals are rallying to Trump because previous politicians supported by the Christian Right have failed to deliver on key policy issues.
But when it comes to Trump, even opponents seemingly take for granted the Republican frontrunner’s willingness to follow through with his intentions. Gallups believes it is Trump’s image as a man of action that is winning over so many conservatives.
“Trump commands the presence of a room when he walks in,” said Gallups. “I call it the ‘Trump Factor.’ I think most Americans think if he’s in charge, they’ll respect us and our enemies will even fear us if they need to. And he’s the kind of guy who can get things done.”