Fact Check

No, Trump Wasn't Kicked Out of a Church by Its Pastor

The claim was accompanied by video of Trump taken during his 2016 presidential campaign, speaking at a church in Flint, Michigan.

Published Jul 11, 2023

 (Mandel Ngan/Staff, Getty Images)
Image Via Mandel Ngan/Staff, Getty Images
Video footage documented that former U.S. President Donald Trump was kicked out of a church by the pastor.

The footage in question was taken when Trump spoke at a church during his 2016 presidential campaign. While it does show the pastor interrupting him, there is no evidence he was "kicked out of church."

On July 10, 2023, a TikTok post went viral that claimed former U.S. President Donald Trump had been "kicked out of a church" by its pastor.

The post said, "Pres. Trump kicked out of Church by Pastor. Trying to turn church into rally." It claimed that Trump was interrupted by the pastor of the church while he was speaking, who told him, "Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we've done in Flint, not to give a political speech."

The video then claimed the pastor escorted Trump off of the stage and told reporters:

They had plans to make it a little more that what they originally said. And I said, 'No. You're going to stick to the original plan.'

We found the same video on Twitter, as well as other videos about the claim on TikTok.

The footage included in the TikTok video was real, though it wasn't recent. It showed Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign, speaking at a church in Flint, Michigan, on Sept. 14 of that year. However, we found no evidence that Trump was kicked out of the church by its pastor. 

The footage included a Wall Street Journal logo in the bottom-right corner of the frame. We found matching footage on the publication's YouTube account. That video was originally posted on Sept. 15, 2016, with the title, "Pastor Cuts Off Trump as Speech Turns Political."

Viewing the Wall Street Journal's video, we found that the TikTok version omitted part of the footage that showed the pastor, the Rev. Faith Green Timmons, admonishing a member of the crowd for heckling Trump. She said, "Mr. Trump is a guest in my church, and you will respect him." The TikTok also omitted part of what she said to reporters. This was the full quote:

They had plans to make it a little more that what they originally said. And I said, 'No. You're going to stick to the original plan.'

And so when he asked to come in and make a statement, and the statement began to go beyond what he originally said, I asked him to stick to what he said. 'You came here to welcome our workers and thank them for what they have done.' And that's what he stuck to.

While the Wall Street Journal footage didn't show the entirety of what Trump said in the church, we found his complete remarks posted on FOX 2 Detroit's YouTube page. In the longer video, over a minute passed between Trump's being interrupted and his leaving the stage. 

Toward the end of the video, Trump said:

So, it's an honor to be with you. Pastor, it's an honor to be with you and I appreciate it. I can only say in the strongest of terms that we can fix this problem. It's going to take time. It's amazing, the damage that's been done. But we'll get it fixed, and it will be fixed quickly — if I'm elected. But it will be fixed quickly and effectively. And Flint will come back. Most importantly, we'll bring jobs back to Flint. So without the jobs, and without the jobs, so important. Thank you, everyone. 

Timmons moved towards Trump, shook his hand, and walked with him as he exited the stage.

Besides the Wall Street Journal's and FOX 2 Detroit's YouTube videos, many reputable publications wrote about the incident when it happened, including Politico, CNN, and Slate. None of those sources reported that the pastor had kicked him out of the church.

The statement that Timmons gave reporters about why she interrupted Trump, which was included at the end of the TikTok post, didn't lend support to the claim either. A reporter who was local to Flint at the time tweeted what Timmons said:

While Timmons mentioned she had allowed Trump to come and make a statement, as well as asked him to stick to what he had said he was going to say, she did not say she had kicked him out.

With the video evidence that Trump wrapped up his remarks himself, as well as the lack of reputable sources reporting that Timmons kicked him out of the church and Timmons' own statement about the event, we rate the TikTok video Miscaptioned.


Diamond, Jeremy. "Pastor Interrupts Trump to Stop Him from Attacking Clinton in Church | CNN Politics." CNN, 14 Sept. 2016, https://www.cnn.com/2016/09/14/politics/donald-trump-pastor-flint-michigan/index.html.

"Donald Trump Speaks in Flint, Interrupted by Pastor (FULL CLIP)." FOX 2 Detroit, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2pOPjYZukc. Accessed 11 July 2023.

Downs, George. "Pastor Cuts Off Trump as Speech Turns Political." Wall Street Journal, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFALE2sz8Os. Accessed 11 July 2023.

"https://twitter.com/CameronRidle/status/776175362069843968?S=20." Twitter, https://twitter.com/CameronRidle/status/776175362069843968?s=20. Accessed 11 July 2023.

Nelson, Lewis and Eli Stokols. "Not in My House, Pastor Tells Trump." POLITICO, 14 Sept. 2016, https://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/flint-pastor-cuts-off-trump-228172.

Nwanevu, Osita. "Watch This Pastor Cut Off Donald Trump Midspeech." Slate, 14 Sept. 2016. slate.com, https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2016/09/watch-this-pastor-cut-off-donald-trump-midspeech.html.

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.

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