CLEVELAND — A top national Christian leader endorsed Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' Trump on Confederate flag: 'It's freedom of speech' MORE as the final night of the Republican National Convention got under way on Thursday night.

Family Research Council leader Tony Perkins, who had long withheld his support from Trump, took the stage at the Quickens Loan Arena to announce that he would vote for Trump and encourage his large following of evangelical Christians to do the same.

"Donald Trump is the nominee of the Republican Party, and I will be voting for Donald Trump in November, and I will urge my fellow Americans to do the same,” Perkins said.

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“Donald Trump has committed to upholding and protecting the first freedom and therefore our ability as citizens to unite our nation once again under God,” he continued said. “Let us go forth from here and do that work.”

Perkins's endorsement comes a day after Indiana Gov. Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceDallas megachurch that hosted Pence approved for millions in coronavirus aid White House chief of staff dismisses need for federal mandate on masks Congress gears up for battle over expiring unemployment benefits MORE, a favorite among social conservatives, addressed the convention for the first time as Trump’s running mate.

Many social conservatives have withheld their support for Trump, fearful that he wouldn’t be a strong advocate for causes important to them.

Perkins’s endorsement could be a tipping point for the religious right moving behind the party’s newly-minted nominee.