Donald Trump’s Childhood Church is now Predominately Immigrants

The Jamaica, Queens childhood Presbyterian church of Donald Trump is now mainly attended by immigrants.

Donald Trump might have made a big issue out of keeping immigrants out of America during this election, but there is one place rather close to home that they have already entered — Mr. Trump’s childhood church.

Donald Trump’s Childhood Church is now Predominately Immigrants[/tweetthis]

When the young Donald Trump and his family attended the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens, African-Americans couldn’t officially become members. It was only in the late 1950s and early 1960s that they began integrating, and it was around the same time that membership started to rapidly decline. When many families, including the Trumps, moved away from the area, the church’s membership dropped to under 100.

It was only under a new pastor, Raymond Swartzback, that things started to improve. He reached out to the new, poorer immigrants who were filling in the gaps in Jamaica left by those departing families, and encouraged them to join the First Presbyterian Church. While the Presbyterian Church as a whole has a membership that is only 10 percent non-white, the vast majority of congregation in Queens are black or brown.

The First Presbyterian Church may have been Donald Trump’s childhood church, but its current status is a testament to the fact that America is no longer as white-centric as it once was, and that Mr. Trump’s presidential platform may be ignoring the realities of everyday life in the country. Patrick O’Connor, the current pastor at the church, says that Mr. Trump has not been back in many years. However, when they were raising funds in 2012, they did receive a check from him for $10,000, with a letter noting: “I attended Sunday school at the church for a number of years. Going to church was an important part of our family life and the memories for me are still vivid—of a vibrant congregation and a lot of activities.”


Follow the Conversation on Twitter