Bishop Harry Jackson Jr., one of America’s most vocal anti-LGBTQ conservative pastors and an evangelical adviser to President Donald Trump, has died, according to his church.
Jackson, 66, died Monday (Nov. 9), according to a statement posted on the website of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland, where he was senior pastor.
“It is with a heavy heart that we notify you that our beloved Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr. has transitioned to be with the Lord on November 9, 2020,” the statement read. “Please pray for the Jackson family’s comfort and respect their right to privacy at this time.”
Associate Pastor Rickardo Bodden, chief of staff of Hope Christian Church, told Religion News Service he did not know the cause of Jackson’s death.
His death comes just weeks after attending the White House super-spreader event in September.
Jackson was one of several prominent conservative Christians to attend the infamous September 26 gathering in the White House Rose Garden where Trump announced the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court.
Nearly a dozen people in attendance later tested positive for COVID-19, including Trump and first lady Melania Trump; former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; former counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah; Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C.; Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins; pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie; and freelance photographer Al Drago.
In 2012, Bishop Jackson said that LGBTQ people are “folks who cannot reproduce who want to recruit your kids” and said that the movement for marriage equality proved that the U.S. was “just like during the times of Hitler.”
Jackson once said that marriage equality is “a Satanic plot to destroy our seed and told his fellow Christians to “steal back the rainbow. We can’t let the gays have it.”
In 2018, he said that Black Lives Matter will fail because there are lesbians in its leadership.
“We can’t have social justice, we need biblical justice,” Jackson said. “It matters that Black Lives Matter has, at the head, a few lesbians who are against the patriarchal society.”
“I believe that the Bible teaches that same-sex marriage is an oxymoron,” he said in a 2009 Washington Post profile. “If you redefine marriage, you have to redefine family. You’d have to redefine parenting. I’m looking at the extinction of marriage. And black culture is in a free fall.”
Earlier this year, Trump invited Jackson to deliver an Easter blessing from the Oval Office, where he thanked Trump and Mike Pence for their “insightful leadership.”