Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., an evangelical adviser to Donald Trump, dead at 66

November 12, 2020

Bishop Harry Jackson Jr., a prominent pastor and evangelical adviser to Donald Trump, has reportedly passed away.

According to a statement from Bishop Jackson’s church, via Religion News, the 66-year-old passed away on Monday, November 9, 2020.

“It is with a heavy heart that we notify you that our beloved Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr., has transitioned to be with the Lord on November 9, 2020,” the statement read. “Please pray for the Jackson family’s comfort and respect their right to privacy at this time.”

The Rev. Rickardo Bodden, chief of staff of Hope Christian Church, told Religion News he did not know the cause of Jackson’s death.

Jackson was tapped as one of president Trump’s unofficial evangelical advisors and visited the White House on numerous occasions. He also attended Trump’s Republican National Convention closing speech this summer.

As senior pastor at Hope Christian, Bishop Jackson led a Pentecostal congregation of about 1,500 members and built a national profile through radio commentary, magazine columns and television appearances. He called himself a “Biblical conservative and social reformer,” accused liberal Black ministers of being out of touch with their congregations and founded the High Impact Leadership Coalition to bring together evangelical pastors.

In 2005, Jackson was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, and during his treatment for it, had a stroke. In 2015, he told “The 700 Club” that at one point, he was “24 hours away from dying.”

Jackson was also an author, and wrote books including 2013’s You Were Born for More: Six Steps to Breaking Through to Your Destiny and 2004’s The Warrior’s Heart: Rules of Engagement for the Spiritual War Zone.

Bishop Jackson said he admired Trump in part for his willingness to adopt criminal justice reforms, and joined a group of evangelical advisers to the president that included Paula White and Black pastors Darrell Scott and Alveda King. He visited the White House several times, delivering an Easter blessing earlier this year in which he prayed for “this plague” — coronavirus — to pass over.

At a roundtable discussion in June, Trump called him “a great unifying source of strength and everything else.” Bishop Jackson hosted Vice President Pence at Hope Christian Church that same month, for a discussion on racial discrimination in which he recalled that his own father was held at gunpoint by a state trooper in 1953 while working on voter registration efforts in Florida.