Politics - News Analysis
Trump’s Favorite Pastor Paula White Has a Fake Doctorate Degree and a History of Bankruptcy
Paula White is a Florida pastor who led a prayer at Donald Trump’s inauguration, chairs his Evangelical Advisory Council, and is now a White House employee, with her salary paid for by the American taxpayer.
Befitting her association with an administration occupied by a deadbeat ex-reality TV star who has spent his life affiliating with various fraud enthusiasts, she is often introduced as “Dr. Paula” despite never having graduated from college and lives a comically luxurious lifestyle despite having driven her previous church into bankruptcy.
So let’s take a look at the fake Dr. Paula White.
She’s frequently introduced and identified as “Dr. Paula White” despite not having a college or seminary degree of any kind. No degrees…not even an undergraduate degree from college.
According to Orlando Weekly, “Her mother was an alcoholic and her father committed suicide. Living for a time in a trailer, she was the victim of childhood physical and sexual abuse. As a teen, she says, she was promiscuous, became a single mother and, as a young adult, was bulimic. Years later, she was addicted to prescription medication; her teenage son was addicted to crack, and an adult stepdaughter died of brain cancer. If, through the love and power of Christ, White tells her followers, she has been able to break through these “generational curses,” so can they.”
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White’s parishioners are usually described as low-to-middle income; and she solicits donations from them relentlessly.
Newsweek reported that White asked congregants to donate as much as a month’s salary to her. “Every time we give, something supernatural happens,” a third reporter saw White tell worshippers who she had asked to donate as much as “a tenth of your gross income.” She once apparently wrote in a fundraising email that donating to her church “will get God’s attention.”
White reportedly owns “several Mercedes”; a Bentley was once photographed in her garage; she and her husband once owned a private jet; she lived in a $2.2 million Tampa mansion. And yet her first church—Without Walls—went bankrupt in 2014 after defaulting on a reported $29 million in loans.
Shortly after being saved at the age of 18, Paula Furr left her first husband and ran off with Randy White, her Maryland church’s pastor, who was at the time married with three young children – a fact she does not include in her redemption testimony. The couple moved to Tampa and, after doing some youth work with a local church, set out to establish their own congregation from scratch, which succeeded spectacularly.
At the height of their popularity, Paula and Randy White reported generating $40 million a year from her broadcast ministry and their Without Walls International Church in Tampa. The racially diverse congregation, in two locations, claimed a membership of 28,000, with the co-pastors taking together between $600,000 and $1.5 million a year in compensation.
In addition to her mansion in Tampa, she also has two homes in NYC, one in Trump Tower and one in another Trump building on Park Avenue.
White was also once the subject of a sensational tabloid exposé in the National Enquirer that linked her with fellow (and separated but still married) televangelist Benny Hinn in a romantic tryst in a five-star Rome hotel. Hinn, another prosperity gospel proponent, was registered in the presidential suite under the biblically suggestive name “David Solomon.” White denied the affair, but Hinn later acknowledged an “inappropriate relationship.”
Trump's "personal pastor" Paula White continued to lie to her congregation about her affair with Benny Hinn even after photos of them holding hands while vacationing together in Rome were published. Hinn eventually admitted to an "inappropriate relationship" with White. pic.twitter.com/eKfoPciNK6
— Jake Morphonios (@morphonios) November 1, 2019
There is little mystery as to what first attracted Donald Trump to Paula White in 2002.
While possibly not “a 10” by Trump’s beauty pageant and supermodel standards, White’s physical appearance is still central to her appeal – even at 50 – so she works hard to maintain it. Over the years the televangelist has not been shy about displaying her toned, fit body on exercise segments on her various TV programs, or in increasingly form-fitting outfits. She likes to tell revivals, “I work my hips and lips.” One follower on her Facebook page referred to her as a “smokin’ Barbie.”
The meeting between Trump and White was the beginning of a beautiful – and mutually beneficial – friendship.
In 2008, Trump was a guest on her show, promoting his latest book and sharing his insights on how to get rich.
White’s website features this Trump encomium: “Paula White is not only a beautiful person both inside and out, she has a significant message to offer anyone who will tune in and pay attention. She has amazing insight and the ability to deliver that message clearly as well as powerfully.”
Trump thought so highly of White that in 2015 he invited her to attend the finale of The Apprentice and pray with the cast and crew.
And if all that information doesn’t scare you enough, watch this:
‘To say no to President Trump would be saying no to God.’ — Trump’s faith adviser and ‘Righteous Gemstones’ character come to life Paula White is now an official White House employee pic.twitter.com/hjCOfnpjHD
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) November 4, 2019
And this is an interesting little tidbit:
Trump spiritual advisor, Paula White, w/ hubby Jonathan Cain, keyboardist for Journey, who wrote the song “Faithfully” for his 1st wife, Tané McClure, who sang “Burning in the Third Degree” in the Tech Noir shootout scene in THE TERMINATOR. pic.twitter.com/hf6HxrmdFt
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) November 5, 2019