Growing up in Columbia, Maryland, my childhood culture was largely void of racial prejudice. My first serious girlfriend was black. Jamaican, actually. We dated through my last year in high school and on into college at Ohio University.
I chose Ohio University because it had one of the top photojournalism program of any college at the time. What I did not know was that Ohio University was a covert bastion of racial prejudice.
Reverse Racism & Appalachian Prejudice
The “townies” were assumed to be prejudiced. The tiny host town of Athens, OH skirted the edges of Appalachia, and KKK cross burnings still occurred in close proximity to the campus. I found many white students to be prejudiced, at least subconsciously. But many black students seemed to be as well. The black student population of Ohio University was very small, and my former girlfriend was told about a billion times to drop the white guy for a more suitable black guy. I was accused of stealing her.
And then I was invited to church.
Finding God at a Prejudiced Interracial Church
To counter the culture of prejudice, I had decided to do a photo story for the school paper on an interracial couple, a black man and a white woman. Leon was actually the worship leader at a local church. Perfect opportunity to convey the righteousness of love for love’s sake, regardless of skin color. He asked me to come to church with him and take pictures of the service.
Here’s a little background on my religious pedigree. My parents were nominal Unitarians. Growing up I went to a Catholic church once for a wedding, and a synagogue once with a friend. I had no idea what a worship leader was or what Charismatics were.
Another student had mentioned snake handlers.
So I approached the little church with a big satellite dish and a multiracial congregation with more than a little trepidation. Stepping through the doors, the first thing I discovered was that the church was prejudiced—against journalists. A very reluctant pastor had to be persuaded by my new friend Leon into letting the “left wing media” invade their sanctuary. With a camera no less.
Good thing he did. Because that night the Gospel Voices of Faith, a black campus choir with one or two white faces, held a concert there. It was hard to photograph through tears. Because an invisible Presence literally enveloped me, and for the first time I realized God was real.
Not only that, I knew intuitively He was everything I had ever wanted. I gave my life to Jesus Christ immediately. Unreservedly. Never looked back.
Civil Rights Protest
Later in college, I took another assignment for the school paper. The Black Student Union was headed to Forsythe GA near Atlanta to participate in a Civil Rights demonstration against the Ku Klux Klan. Threats of violent confrontation and even riots were very viable. I signed up to cover it for the paper, bringing my Jamaican girlfriend with me. As we rode the bus down, we soberly assessed together the very real possibility we could die.
Or I could lose my girlfriend. Because at least a few of the guys we were riding with on the OU Black Student Union bus bound for Atlanta—well, they had already made their sentiments clear.
Nothing happened, of course. Not even a skirmish. But the resolution counted.
Prophesying the Dream
Dr. Martin Luther King did not start a revolution against racism and prejudice. But he largely completed the task of shifting American culture out of this scourge. From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, King prophesied a dream—and the dream came true.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood…. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!
What was unthinkable then is relatively common now. Tremendous strides have been gained. For instance, later this week a black couple named Barack and Michelle Obama are transitioning into private life after eight years and two terms as the first black President of the United States and the first black First Lady, respectively. That’s a big deal.
But racism, including reverse racism, is still taking a terrible toll.
Trump Mantled for Presidency—By a Black Pastor
Here’s a story that simply should be told. In late August Donald Trump made his way into inner city Detroit for a service at a largely black church pastored by Bishop Wayne T. Jackson. Much of the media recoiled in protest, even refusing to cover the event. But some media guys got through. At least part of the service was videotaped. And a photojournalist took a picture of Donald Trump being draped by Bishop Jackson with a Jewish tallit, or prayer shawl.
I was on my way to Israel when I saw the picture. And the Holy Spirit clearly spoke to me, “Never forget that Donald Trump was mantled for the Presidency by a black pastor from Detroit!” I prayed for a solid week in the Covenant Land to make sure what I heard was actually true.
Because the Lord was emphasizing something. Not only that Donald Trump was going to be President—I had seen this earlier in a dream, back in January 2016. And in the same dream Trump opened the door specifically for black Christians in government.
But God was now speaking to me that He had chosen for the mantling of Donald Trump—for the Presidency—an inner city black pastor.
Always remember this. He who imparts the mantle always has the final word. Just ask Samuel.
Gift of the Gavel
It was amazing to me how God orchestrated that we would culminate our Glory Train-Turnaround Tour in Michigan, the very state where this mantle for the Presidency was imparted. I cannot emphasize enough how important this was to the heart of God. And I knew I had to visit Bishop Jackson’s church.
Bishop Wayne T. Jackson was beyond gracious. I had the privilege of briefly addressing the congregation and presenting them with a gift. The Lord had directed me to give them a gavel from the US Supreme Court. I knew God was conveying that he and his congregation had entered into a new season of justice from Heaven’s Court. Judgement in favor of the saints!
Bishop Jackson privately affirmed to me that the Lord had indeed called him to literally mantle Donald Trump for the presidency, much as Samuel anointed both Saul and David. He covered Donald Trump’s head with the tallit and declared His Psalm 91 covering. He prophesied to him about the power of the anointing. And he even gave the family a Jewish Heritage Bible.
Because of this, I knew Bishop Jackson would immediately grasp the prophetic significance of the gift I was giving him. But it honestly surprised me how deeply he was affected.
What I did not know is that after he mantled Trump for the Presidency, he only told his top leadership team instead of the whole congregation. Because there were already threats against his life for even letting Trump in the church. A few weeks later, thugs actually came into the church during a service and publicly threatened them.
So in a way only God could speak, the gift of the gavel conveyed His justice and vindication would be coming to them.
History has at least begun to bring this vindication. Against all odds, state after state turned in the election, including Michigan. Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States. And Bishop Jackson, the man who gave the mantle, has been invited to join Franklin Graham in giving the benediction at Trump’s inauguration.
Again—he who imparts the mantle always has the final word.
King’s Dream Today
I know there are genuine fears of the encroachment of racism by Donald Trump as President. I also know many of these fears are trumped up. They are fueled by racism, even reverse racism.
Very few pastors and leaders and nurses and restaurant servers and stay at home moms and single parents and generals and bankers who happen to be black and conservative have escaped persecution. Including many of Dr. King’s offspring, spiritually and naturally. To the extent the persecution is almost mandating the emergence of a new civil rights movement in this hour.
All I’m saying is this. It’s about time we fulfill King’s dream where we no longer judge on the color of skin, but the content of a person’s character. To do otherwise betrays any semblance of prophetic authenticity.
And regarding Donald Trump, always remember that God chose to mantle this businessman for the highest office in the world by a black pastor from Detroit. The implication from Heaven’s Throne is very clear. God desires the Trump Presidency to bring opportunity for all. From America’s rust belt towns to our decaying inner cities. It is an awesome responsibility.
And one more thing. Ultimately God put Donald Trump in office. And He who imparts the mantle always has the final word.