Faith leaders pray over President Donald Trump during an “Evangelicals for Trump Coalition Launch” at King Jesus International Ministry, Friday, Jan. 3, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
President Trump made history as the first sitting president to attend the March for Life on Friday, which was also attended by more prominent evangelicals than ever before.
Among the faith leaders attending for the first time were evangelist Franklin Graham and Jack Graham, who are not blood-related.
Jeanne Mancini, the president of the March for Life, told Fox News this has been “an organization goal” and is a “broader win for the movement.”
Graham, the president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, announced on Facebook earlier this week that he would be attending.
“I’m going to do something on Friday that I’ve never done before — I’m going to march,” the son of Billy Graham wrote. “I’m going to DC to walk in the March for Life.”
He and his daughter, Cissie Graham Lynch, said they planned to blend in with the crowd to send a message to “the courts, Congress, the media, and the world” that “every life matters to God and should matter to us.”
David Platt is the lead pastor of McLean Bible Church, in northern Virginia, where Trump made a surprise visit in June 2019. The “Radical” author was the youngest megachurch pastor when he led the Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., and served as the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board from 2014 to 2017.
“Thankful beyond words for a mom in Kazakhstan and another in China who chose life,” Platt tweeted from last year’s march.
Jack Graham, the pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church, joined the march along roughly 100 members from his in Plano, Texas church, which boasts 45,000 members and runs a pregnancy center.
“This is my first time,” Graham told Fox News. “We’re at a tipping point on the issue of the sanctity of life in the country and the very fact that the president is speaking live for the first time just indicates the massive movement of life for evangelicals in the country.”
Graham has served as honorary chairman of the 2015 National Day of Prayer and he has served as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the country with 15 million members.
Jim Daly is the president of Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian nonprofit based in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Daly and Focus on the Family have held pro-life rallies and are planning a nationwide pro-life celebration, “ALIVE 2020,” across five locations from California to Florida on May 9.
“There were bright and joy-filled young people everywhere,” Daly has said of the march in past years. “Mothers were pushing strollers. Priests and pastors led huge groups of marchers, many of whom wore matching t-shirts or hats. Families were walking hand-in-hand. You couldn’t help but leave encouraged.”
Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison
Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison, president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, is marching this year prompted by pro-abortion bills signed into law by New York and Illinois a year ago.
“Life, not death, is the goal of humanity,” Harrison wrote in the statement. “History testifies that death is never the means through which justice and human rights prevail. We do not advance on the graves of our children.”
Harrison has been a vocal opponent of abortion in the Lutheran Church and led the LCMS contingent last year and plans to lead again this year.
Dr. Alveda King
Dr. Alveda King, the niece of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., is a prominent pro-life activist who is speaking at the March for Life.
King is the executive director of outreach for a group called Civil Rights for the Unborn and is involved in Silent No More, a group that raises awareness about the physical and emotional pain abortion causes.
“Pro-life voices for Trump!” King wrote on her Instagram along with a picture of her holding a sign, ahead of the big event.