Paula White Puts Son in Charge of Church, Assumes 'Apostolic' Role Over 3,000-Church Empire to Come - 2019-05-10
President Trump's spiritual adviser Paula White turned control of her megachurch over to her son and his wife this week, saying she is adopting an "apostolic overseer" role of the church—renamed City of Destiny—and following her call to "govern" the pastors of the 3,000 new churches she intends to plant, and the university she says she'll be launching.
According to the Christian Post, White announced on Sunday—after it was a legal fait accompli—that her son and daughter-in-law were being installed as senior pastors over the church, which she said she had done in response to God's command and in fulfillment of a prophesy from the church's founding pastor, Zachery Tims. (The Christian Post noted that Tims "died accidentally on Aug. 14, 2011, in the W. Hotel in Times Square, New York, from "acute intoxication by the combined effects of cocaine and heroin.")
In their book "The Rise of Network Christianity," religion scholars Brad Christerson and Richard Flory explored the growth of "Independent Network Christianity" and the phenomenon of religious leaders like White who operate outside the constraints and accountability structures of traditional denominations. It allows charismatic individuals broad leeway to expand their influence by building networks of followers—including other pastors and evangelists to whom they offer spiritual "covering"—who attend their conferences, buy their books, and send them money.