When 50 worship leaders met in the Oval Office on Friday, Dec. 6, they all had one thing on their minds—help President Trump by praying for him. They came from across America and elsewhere, to pledge their support for him, at a faith briefing organized by the president’s personal pastor, Paula White-Cain, who is also the White House special adviser to the Faith and Opportunity Initiative.

Sean Feucht, a Bethel Music worship leader who is running for Congress in California’s Third Congressional District, described the moment to Fox News, “All 50 of us crammed into the Oval Office. He sat at his desk, and he said, pray for me,” said Feucht.

“We just laid our hands on him and prayed for him. It was like a real intense, hardcore prayer. It was so wild,” he said. “I could not believe he invited us in. That he carved out time to meet with us.”

The president had met the group in the Cabinet Room, with the global senior pastor of Hillsong Church, Brian Houston from Australia, describing his feelings, “When America is strong, the world is a better place,” said Houston. “What a great opportunity it’s been to see some of the initiatives that are happening to help freedom of religion.”

One worship leader, Kari Jobe from Nashville, realized there are forces at work helping others to make changes. “The thing that moved me the most was just how everyone is so for making sure we’re changing people’s lives and not leaving those that are marginalized and those that have been trafficked… they’re working to end these things and change these things,” Jobe shared. “I’ve just been in tears all day…God is moving!”

 

Vice President Mike Pence began the meeting by describing the work the White House has undertaken to end the persecution of religious groups worldwide, and mentioned the First Amendment.

“Wonderful stopping by a worship leaders briefing today at the White House!” Pence wrote on Twitter. “America is a proud Nation of believers, and our Administration will always defend the freedom of religion of every American, of every faith!”

President Trump added a bit of humor to the event by joking with them, “Nancy Pelosi says that she prays for me, but she doesn’t tell anyone what she prays for,” he said. “But I know you guys have come to pray for me, and I know you care about what’s happening in this administration.”

Feucht said, “I shook his hand and said, ‘Mr. President, I’m from California, and I just want to let you know there’s people out in California that support you.'”

Of course, there was some opposition to the faith-based gathering at the White House.

On Monday, the Freedom From Religion Foundation announced they are “investigating” the faith-based event, reports Fox News.

“Welcoming a group of Christian Nationalists to carry out a governmental ‘takeover’ is deeply disturbing since it shows a contempt for the foundational American principle of state-church separation,” Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president, said in a statement. “It should alarm every citizen.”