18

While going looking at CNN's gigapixel picture from Trump's inauguration looking for funny faces and the like (great fun if you're looking to kill some time), this man caught my attention but I can't seem to identify who he is or why he is in the first few rows. Most people around him, I can either identify or their attire indicates their rank/position.

enter image description hereHe is only a couple behind the Bushes and Clintons and in the same row as some high-ranking military officials. Who is he and why is he important?

For those who want to use the Gigapixel image to locate him, I circled him on this zoomed-out image.enter image description here

  • 31
    This is the most important question ever asked about the inauguration. – indigochild Jan 26 '17 at 16:33
  • I wish I'd been taking screenshots of them, but there are some pretty amusing things going on between panorama goofs, hijinks with ponchos, and just people being silly. – Pants Jan 26 '17 at 16:55
  • Love the guy (who I believe is the new Governor of Indiana) rockin the baseball cap... – Jared Smith Jan 26 '17 at 19:03
  • @JaredSmith These three are my favorites from the section behind Trump: imgur.com/a/Wvz4g – Pants Jan 26 '17 at 19:33
  • 1
    @Panda Thanks for tagging that question. My question's title was an homage to it. I just wasn't sure if I should\how to draw attention to it as well. – Pants Jan 27 '17 at 13:44
21

This is Bishop Wayne Jackson, of Great Faith Ministries International. His photo is on their homepage here. He's there because he presented one of the prayers at the inauguration.

enter image description here

Photo embedded from the Detroit News article.

  • 30
    A bit more on Mr. Jackson. He's a proponent of the very controversial Prosperity Theology, which essentially preaches that your personal wealth is directly related to your holiness. Being rich is proof that you are a good person, being poor is proof you aren't, and you can essentially pray and donate yourself wealthy. Validity aside, you can see where this particular flavor of preacher would be more likely to be a supporter of the wealthiest candidate in any race. – T.E.D. Jan 26 '17 at 21:19
  • 29
    The question was who this person was, and there's a whole lot more to who a person is than their name. Also, the answer seemed to totally ignore the "and why is he important" half of the question. I thought that the extra info might help fill that in. If you disagree, I suppose I could take it to its own answer... – T.E.D. Jan 26 '17 at 21:23
  • 8
    @indigochild Well, here's an article with some prosperity talk from Jackson: bizstandardnews.com/2016/09/24/… He has since tried to distance himself from the prosperity gospel, though he still admits he once preached it: detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2017/01/20/… – DepressedDaniel Jan 26 '17 at 21:50
  • 1
    @indigochild Well, as is evident from my first link, he used Prosperity Theology to drum up support for Trump. He specifically cited Trump's wealth as evidence of Trump's blessedness by God. So I think there's a strong case to be made that Prosperity Theology is part of what got Jackson there. – DepressedDaniel Jan 27 '17 at 6:06
  • 1
    @indigochild - I don't think anyone made such a claim. I did suggest that his theology likely has a lot to do with why he supported the candidate he did, but there was no claim made as to why he was invited. We all may have theories for that, but the only thing I think we can say objectively is that his being a Trump supporter probably had a lot to do with it. – T.E.D. Jan 27 '17 at 15:00
6

Good find on indigochild's part. For those who'd like a little more info on this "dapper-looking man"; who he is and why he's important:

Bishop Wayne Jackson runs Great Faith Ministries International, in Detroit. He has been a proponent of Prosperity Theology. This is a very controversial theological system that argues a person's personal wealth is directly related to their holiness. Being rich is considered proof that you are a good person, being poor is proof you aren't, and you can essentially pray, visualize, and donate yourself wealthy.

The validity of this belief system aside, you can see where a proponent would be apt to be more supportive of the wealthier candidate in an election. So it should be no surprise that he was, and based his support on Trump's wealth.

Donald Trump is an example of someone who has been blessed by God,” Jackson told the Conservative Chronicle. “Look at his homes, businesses, his wife and his jet. You don’t get those things unless you have the favor of God.”

As to why Trump invited him to give one of the prayers, the fact that he is a minister who was also a Trump supporter is probably sufficient explanation. He did invite Trump to speak at his church during the campaign, so this wasn't their first interaction of this kind.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.