Church confirms 'personal donation' from Trump to go to flood relief
CENTRAL - Greenwell Springs Baptist Church on Friday confirmed they received a personal contribution from Donald Trump in order to aid local relief efforts at the church.
GSBC has partnered with Samaritan’s Purse throughout the response to recent flooding with the church functioning as a base of operations for relief efforts in the Baton Rouge suburb. The church reported serving more than 1,000 hot meals every night since the weather event to residents who were displaced by the storm.
Several sources have said the donation made by Trump was in the amount of $100,000, but a release from the church did not specify the amount of the donation. The release did specify, however, that all funds marked for disaster relief are going into a separate account from the church’s general fund.
Any of those funds not used for initial disaster-related relief work will go toward “subsequent efforts to support and/or directly restore and rebuild homes and church facilities impacted by the flood,” said the release.
“I again want to express my appreciation to Donald Trump and Governor Mike Pence for responding to my request to travel to Louisiana to view the devastation first hand. Their visit brought the needed attention and urgency to the disaster that has aided tremendously in the relief efforts. We also want to thank Mr. Trump for his personal generosity in helping GSBC minister to the physical and spiritual needs of this community in this time of crisis,” read a statement from GSBC Interim Pastor Tony Perkins.
Trump, along with VP candidate Mike Pence, visited Baton Rouge on Aug. 19 to tour the devastation left by recent record flooding. Trump, Pence and Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser visited the church during that trip.
The donation has drawn controversy as Perkins is also president of the Family Research Council, an anti-gay lobbying group. Other outlets have expressed a possible connection between Perkins and a white supremacist group, including a 2006 Boston Herald article that describes Perkins speaking at a 2001 meeting of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white nationalist group. Perkins said he was not aware at the time of the causes supported by the group, and said he no longer recalled what he said at the meeting.