Trump slated to address Christian broadcasters in Nashville

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks at a Get Out The Vote rally Saturday at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C. Trump is set to headline a convention of Christian broadcasters Feb. 22 in Nashville. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks at a Get Out The Vote rally Saturday at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, S.C. Trump is set to headline a convention of Christian broadcasters Feb. 22 in Nashville. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Former President Donald Trump is set next week to headline a convention of Christian broadcasters in Nashville.

Billed as the "world's largest gathering of Christian communicators," the International Christian Media Convention will bring a mainly evangelical crowd together to discuss themes like government regulation, artificial intelligence, supporting Israel and how to counter changing sexual morals in society.

The nonprofit National Religious Broadcasters association, which organizes the convention, says it is nonpartisan and invited eligible candidates from both major parties to participate in its presidential candidate forum Feb. 22.

NRB President and CEO Troy Miller said in a news release he looked forward to hearing Trump express his vision for the future of the nation.

The association, according to its website, says members — largely radio and TV broadcasters — are united in a purpose: "To spread the life-changing truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through every electronic medium available."

TV and radio broadcasting have been powerful tools for evangelicals through the years. Founded in 1944 to preserve the reach of evangelical broadcasts, the National Religious Broadcasters association says it works in Washington to protect religious freedom and ensure the Gospel goes out into the world without hindrance. Today it supports, among other things, an effort to mandate AM radios in every vehicle.

In 2022 it reported revenue of $4 million, more than half of which came in through its annual convention.

Sponsors for this year's presidential forum include Salem Media Group, Heritage Action — which is linked to the right-wing Heritage Foundation — and Pray.com, an app for faith and prayer.

(READ MORE: Seal of financial approval is not for all Chattanooga area evangelical organizations)

Last spring, the broadcaster association announced Chattanooga broadcaster John Ankerberg joined its board of directors.

This came shortly after Ankerberg's ministry was suspended from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, a financial certification body, after a whistleblower said only a fraction of funds raised for an audio Bible ministry actually went to that cause. After its investigation, the council revoked the membership of Ankerberg's ministry.

The Trump campaign did not respond to emailed questions asking what he plans to talk about at the convention, what policies he supports that he thinks would help Christian broadcasters or whether he is planning to attend the event in person.

Trump has previously said he was Presbyterian but now says he is a non-denominational Christian.

Contact Andrew Schwartz at aschwartz@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6431.

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