State Watch

Former Trump faith adviser holding in-person event for more than 2,000

YouTube/Kenneth Copeland Ministries

Kenneth Copeland, a televangelist who was a faith adviser to President Trump when he was running for president in 2016, is hosting an in-person event for more than 2,000 people in the largest metro area in Texas this month.

The Southwest Believer’s Convention, held Aug. 3-8, is the first event held in the Fort Worth Convention Center since late June. Around 2,500 guests are expected to attend, Kevin Kemp, assistant facilities and public events director for the city of Fort Worth, told NBC 5.

“If you can attend the 2020 SWBC in person, be there!” Kenneth Copeland Ministries urges on their website. “There’s just something about people of faith coming together in an atmosphere charged with supernatural expectancy.”

The convention center is reportedly operating at 50 percent capacity. It can normally hold more than 13,000 people.

The event website also promises the convention “will follow the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our local officials.”

Texas had reported 430,485 COVID-19 cases as of Saturday and 6,837 deaths.

Copeland’s convention typically draws thousands of attendees from multiple countries. This year’s event is the ministry’s 40th annual Southwest Believer’s Convention. It is free to attend and can also be viewed online.

Copeland, who is known by mainline evangelists as a “prosperity gospel” pastor who teaches that God physically rewards the faithful, has earned criticism for his approach to the coronavirus pandemic. In March, he declared “judgment” on COVID-19 and said in prayer, “I demand a vaccination to come immediately.”

He urged viewers to put their hands on the television as he prayed healing over them.

The convention schedule also includes speakers like Jesse Duplantis, who in March posted a message about coronavirus titled: “Have you tested POSITIVE…for FAITH?”

The White House and Trump campaign did not confirm whether Copeland is still an adviser.

The Hill reached out to Kenneth Copeland Ministries for comment.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic Donald Trump Kenneth Copeland Televangelism Texas

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