Exit polls show white evangelical voters overwhelmingly supported President-elect Donald Trump on Election Day.
North Texas Pastor Robert Jeffress, an early supporter of Trump, returned to Dallas on Thursday after spending Election Day with the President-elect at his victory party at Trump Tower in New York. He said he always knew Christians would turn out to vote for the Republican Nominee.
“He said, ‘Pastor, I think we're going to do pretty well,’” Jeffress recalled. “He asked me what I thought the evangelical turnout would be.”
Exit polls show 81 percent of white evangelicals did turn out for Trump.
The Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas is on Trump's evangelical executive advisory board and a FOX News contributor. He's been a supporter of Trump's campaign for a year-and-a-half and even joined him at several rallies.
Jeffress stood by Trump after the Access Hollywood tapes went public but called the comments indefensible. And he believes other evangelicals ultimately backed Trump too after the last presidential debate.
“He made the strongest commitment to a conservative U.S. Supreme Court,” Jeffress explained. “He articulated the strongest defense of a pro-life position of any Republican presidential nominee in history.”
But, there is also unease. After the election, Keller’s Northwood Church Senior Pastor Bob Roberts tweeted, “Racism, islamophobia, refugees & immigrants are now fair game in this open season - It's up to followers of Jesus to love strong."
“You can't have the kind of rhetoric that we've had when you're dealing with Muslims and immigrants and refugees and people of different races,” Roberts said. “You can't do that and not expect that, for some, you've not legitimized hate and hateful actions.”
Roberts supports anti-abortion stance and agrees it's important to evangelicals but says he also feels called to challenge those who would support a border wall and a ban on Muslim immigration.
“Christians, and particularly evangelical Christians, we have a bigger responsibility than anyone else to stand up and reach out to our neighbor and say we care about you and you matter,” the Northwood Church pastor said.
Roberts says the issues he's concerned about started before Trump's candidacy and adds he's praying for the President-elect.
Meanwhile, Jeffress says he believes people will be "pleasantly surprised" at the inclusiveness of a Trump administration.