Pastor on Trump’s Philly Church Visit: “I’m Not Invited. I Have Nothing to Do With This.”

Rev. Herb Lusk says he wasn't invited to Trump's meeting with African-American leaders, which is being held Friday at his church's banquet hall.

Left: Reverend Herb Lusk. (Photo courtesy Greater Exodus Baptist Church.) Right: Donald Trump. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons.)

Left: Reverend Herb Lusk. (Photo courtesy Greater Exodus Baptist Church). Right: Donald Trump. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons).

We were a little surprised when we read the report that Donald Trump would be visiting North Broad Street’s Greater Exodus Baptist Church on Friday to meet with African-American community leaders. But no one was more surprised than Reverend Herb Lusk, the former Philadelphia Eagles player who has been pastor of Greater Exodus since 1982.

Philly Mag reached Lusk in Mexico, where he is vacationing with his family. According to Lusk, the meeting is not at the church per se, but at an adjacent banquet facility owned by the church’s non-profit.

“There is no doubt that they are paying to be there,” Lusk says. “We do all sorts of weddings and parties and meetings up there. It is a beautiful space.”

Lusk insists that while the name of his church is being thrown around in conjunction with Trump’s Philly visit, he and his church are not involved. (Trump’s camp did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.)

“It’s a business arrangement,” he says. “I’m not invited. I have nothing to do with this. It seems like it’s connected to me, but it’s not connected to me. I haven’t had a single conversation with Trump or his people. It’s a business arrangement. Anyone who wants to have an event at my place can do so — even Donald Trump. [Laughs] This is like a lightning rod.”

As for the election itself, Lusk doesn’t find himself feeling great about Trump or Hillary Clinton.

“I don’t like either of the candidates,” he says. “I’m in the same camp as a lot of Americans. This is one of those elections where you trust in the providence of God.”

Lusk’s faith was well-known to football fans in the 1970s. In 1977, when Lusk was playing for the Eagles, he registered more than 100 yards and scored two touchdowns. During that game, he became the first NFL player to kneel in the end zone and pray, as he recalled for us in this 2015 interview.

“I’m trusting God’s wisdom and God’s hand,” Lusk says of the November election.

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