Trump Protesters Target Dallas' First Baptist Church

On their fourth consecutive night on the streets, Dallas' anti-Trump protesters took aim at a concrete target with their anger: Dallas' First Baptist Church.

First Baptist's pastor, Robert Jeffress was square in the middle of Trump's victory party in New York City on Tuesday night. He earned the spot: He has been the president-elect's liaison to the evangelical community from virtually the start of the campaign.

In October 2015, he led a group of pastors to Trump tower, laying hands on Trump and gleefully telling Fox News that "anybody that was in that meeting would've left there, first of all, impressed by his great charisma, by his grasp of the issues, but also the fact that he's in it to win it."

Jeffress' Trump love continued through the Republican primary and the general election, no matter the scandal and stumble. When the public heard Trump caught on tape talking about "grabbing women by the pussy," Jeffress called the comments "lewd" but said that they shouldn't be enough to make anyone vote for Hillary Clinton. The pastor said he set his belief that Trump is the best choice for America because the New York real estate developer would appoint Supreme Court justices willing to overturn Roe v. Wade.

On Saturday night, Dallas' anti-Trump protesters tried to make him account for the support. After a brief meetup at Main Street Garden — marchers cleared out early to allow for a scheduled screening of Frozen — Saturday night's rally wound its way to First Baptist's fountain. 

Police escorted the throng the whole way. "This pastor right here is one of the most hateful pastors I have ever seen in my life," said Dominique Alexander, whose Next Generation Action Network helped organize the protest. "This church right here is the mother mecca of the hate that lives inside of Dallas."

Alexander says the anti-Trumpers are going to be back at First Baptist on Monday night, and may start picketing the church on Sundays. "We come here today to proclaim First Baptist Dallas an official hate church and an official hate organization," Alexander said.

First Baptist and its $120 million downtown campus are something concrete for the protesters to be angry at, and there was certainly enough rage, even five days after Trump's election, to go around.

"No fascists, no KKK, no racist USA," protesters yelled, and "We reject the president-elect."

Saturday night's protest also signaled the beginning of a more quixotic movement. Jessica Bowdry, of a nascent group called Millennial Voices United, marched downtown to push for Texas to become a part of the faithless electors movement.

Millennial Voices is planning to march on the Texas state capitol before Texas' 38 electors cast their votes on Dec. 19.

"We're not just talking about it," she said. "This revolution will be televised, when we march."
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young