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Hundreds leave Paula White's church due to links with Trump, son says

(YouTube/Paula White Ministries)Paula White appears in a screen capture of a video from her ministry's YouTube channel.

The New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida has lost hundreds of members due to Paula White's relationship with President Donald Trump, according to the televangelist's son, Bradley Knight.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Knight revealed that between 200 to 300 people had left the predominantly black congregation and that giving has dropped by $10,000 weekly because of White's support for the president.

"Her relationship with the black community got really frayed because of President Trump. She got messages from black leaders, saying, 'You betrayed us,'" Knight said.

However, sources that have worked closely with the New Destiny have previously reported that church attendance had dropped dramatically when White took over the congregation when co-founder Zachery Tims died in 2011.

White, who serves as the president's spiritual adviser, had been accused of "strong arming her way as the new installed pastor" at New Destiny during the search to replace Tims.

Tims' ex-wife and co-founder of New Destiny, Riva Tims, has said that she does not know what has happened with the church since White took it over with 8,000 members, but noted that "it's very quiet over there."

When asked about how she felt about White's role as the president's adviser, Riva said that it was not a role that she would recommend for the popular televangelist.

"Honestly, I don't get the connection there. I don't know her really [but] based on the history that I have experienced with Paula White, I couldn't receive from Paula White. That's just me," Riva said, according to The Christian Post.

White said that she tries to ensure that she does justice to her adviser role by spending an hour a day in prayer and Bible study. Additionally, she also said that she tries to fast one day a week, and go on a longer fast once each month.

The popular televangelist has drawn widespread criticism after it was announced that she was one of six religious leaders participating in Trump's inauguration ceremony.

Conservative blogger and radio host Erick Erickson referred to White as a "prosperity gospel charlatan" and claimed that the televangelist has rejected "Christianity itself" by rejecting the "orthodoxy of the Nicene Creed."

White denied the accusations of heresy by saying she has always believed in the Holy Trinity, as well as the "exclusivity and divinity of Jesus Christ, his saving grace and substitutionary atonement made available to all by his death on the cross."

She also rejected the assertions that she is a prosperity preacher by saying she has preached "as much on the lessons we must learn in times of trial in our lives as I have in times of abundance."

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