How wonderful to hear that our President and First Lady were warmly received by the other attendees when they had a surprise visit to a new church for Christmas Eve worship.
The NY Post reports the Trumps were cheered upon arrival:
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump spent Christmas Eve attending a service at a West Palm Beach church before dining at the president’s private club.
The Trumps were greeted by applause and cheers as they arrived to Family Church for a 6 p.m. music-filled “Candlelight Christmas Celebration.”
They were welcomed by the Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated church’s pastor, Jimmy Scroggins, and his family. They sat in the third pew.
Scroggins spoke about the birth of Jesus during his homily at the service and made a nod to the president and his family.
“There was no Secret Service. There was no motorcade. There was no gaggle of press,” he said.
After the service, the Trumps went to Mar-a-Lago for Christmas Eve Dinner. At his club, the president was asked by a reporter if he prayed for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the service.
Trump didn’t respond, but said, “We’re going to have a great year.”
The Washington Times confirmed the story:
“The president and I want to wish each and every American a very merry Christmas,” the first lady said in a video message recorded at the White House and released Wednesday. “We say a special prayer for those military service members stationed far from home and we renew our hope for peace among nations and joy to the world,” Trump said in the message.
The first family is spending the holiday at the president’s private club in Palm Beach, attending a music-filled Christmas Eve service at a Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated church before celebrating with dinner in the ballroom of his private club. They were expected to remain out of sight on Wednesday.
The pastor of Family Church in West Palm Beach, Florida, Jimmy Scroggins, and his family greeted the Trumps as they arrived moments into a “Candlelight Christmas Celebration.” The Trumps received applause and cheers while taking reserved seats in the church’s third pew. Brief sermons and readings by clergy were interlaced between traditional Christmas songs, as theatrical smoke billowed and fake snow descended from the rafters.
Attending Family Church was a change of pace for the Trumps, who had attended holiday services in the past at Bethesda-by-the-Sea, the Episcopal Church in Palm Beach at which they were married in 2005.
The Trumps then returned to his private club, where they were greeted by applause as they entered for Christmas Eve dinner. Trump, less than a week after being impeached by the House, did not respond when asked by a reporter if he prayed for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at church, but he said, “We’re going to have a great year.”
Trump was seen briefly speaking attorney Alan Dershowitz, a prominent Trump defender on cable news who was dining in the ballroom. The Harvard Law School professor emeritus has been the subject of discussions about joining the president’s impeachment legal team.
Trump earlier called military service members stationed across the world to share greetings ahead of the Christmas holiday.
And how great to see a Pastor handle the moment well!
Finally a pastor who gets it!
Not making it about himself or politics, this pastor welcomed President Trump with warm arms and said it was a pleasure to have the President and First Lady join them for worship!
It was our pleasure to have @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS join us for worship this evening. First time I’ve ever met them. They were both extremely gracious, participated in the entire service, and stayed through the end. Always glad to make a big deal about Jesus!
Well said Pastor Scroggins!
The Palm Beach Post had more on the service:
The president and first family members traditionally attend a Christmas Eve service at Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, but this year the president and first lady celebrated Christmas Eve at Family Church in downtown West Palm Beach Beach.
President Trump broke with family tradition Tuesday by celebrating Christmas Eve services at a West Palm Beach church.
The president and first family members traditionally attend a Christmas Eve service at Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach, but this year they attended services at Family Church in downtown West Palm Beach Beach.
The president and first lady Melania Trump were greeted outside the church by Lead Pastor Jimmy Scroggins, his wife Kristin, and their son and daughter-in-law, James and Reilly. The Trumps arrived just after 6 p.m. and departed roughly an hour later.
Inside the church, the Trumps were treated to an eclectic modern Christmas service featuring a brass orchestra, electric guitars, a Baptist-style choir, acapella and floating artificial snow flakes. It was a different atmosphere than the Episcopalian service they usually attend.
Leslee Bennett, the church’s communications director, said church officials were notified only a short time before the 6 p.m service that the president and first lady would be in attendance.
Bennett said she was not aware of what prompted the Trumps’ visit, but noted that the president and the first lady were welcomed to the church by Campus Pastor Derek Simpson.
“Our church is made up of people from all different political parties, all different races, all different walks of life,” she said. “We welcome everybody, regardless of where they stand politically.
The president and first lady stayed through the church’s traditional Christmas Eve candle lighting and singing of Silent Night, departing just before the end of the service.
After the service, parishioners said they welcomed the president.
“Out of the 11 years that I’ve been here and he’s been our president for ... four years, he’s never come,” said Angelica Perez, who said she did not know the first couple would attend. “So maybe there’s a sign that maybe he wants to make a difference in his life ... I was more excited, but it didn’t change the message. It was good as always.”
Broadus Verhine said it was not a shock to see the president in the congregation.
“I’m not surprised [the president] showed up,” Verhine said. “He’s that type of guy. He likes to meet people.”
Verhine felt just as encouraged by this year’s message as he has in previous years. Despite unexpected guests, the underlying message of the service still remains the same.
“Jesus Christ is Lord and He came to earth to bring us salvation,” Verhine added.
The Trumps’ change in venues, however, came less than a week after the president was stunned by a Christianity Today editorial urging evangelicals to refrain from supporting his 2020 re-election effort.
Trump did not take the rebuke lightly. He tweeted: “I guess the magazine, “Christianity Today,” is looking for Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, or those of the socialist/communist bent, to guard their religion. How about Sleepy Joe? The fact is, no President has ever done what I have done for Evangelicals, or religion itself!”
The church service opened with traditional and secular Christmas songs, including “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” A choir sang, clapped and swayed back in a rendition of “Go Tell It On The Mountain.”
At the beginning of the homily, Scroggins spoke about the birth of Jesus, saying “There was no Secret Service. There was no motorcade. There was no gaggle of press,” he said.
Before heading to church, Melania Trump participated “in NORAD Tracks Santa phone calls,” according to a statement released by White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham.
The statement said the first lady “spoke with several children from across the country and heard many of the items on their Christmas lists.” She also “reminded the kids to put milk and cookies out for Santa, and wished each child and their families a very Merry Christmas.”
Earlier Tuesday, the president spent roughly 20 minutes calling servicemen and women from the different branches of the armed services stationed in Kuwait, the Gulf of Aden, Afghanistan, Missouri and Alaska before fielding questions from the media and heading to his West Palm Beach golf club.
Watch his arrival here:
Reporters tried to bait the President with a question about Nancy Pelosi, but he ignored them.
Very wise, not the time or place for that kind of question, although it might have been funny if he responded "No I didn't, I didn't want to spontaneously combust by speaking the name Nancy Pelosi inside a church!" 😂
But our President handled it perfectly, watch here: