Donald Trump has been without a church for 3 years

Marble Collegiate Church, where Donald Trump went to church for 50 years
(Image credit: Mark Mainz/Getty Images)

Donald Trump identifies himself as a Presbyterian, but he hasn't regularly attended Presbyterian services since his family started attending Marble Collegiate Church in midtown Manhattan more than 50 years ago. Trump was confirmed at First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens, at about age 13 in 1959, but in the 1960s, the Trump family started attending Marble, on Fifth Avenue, because of the preacher, Rev. Norman Vincent Peale, whose 1952 book extolling the "power of positive thinking" helped make him a wealthy man. Peale presided at Trump's first wedding, to Ivana Trump, and Peale's successor, Rev. Arthur Caliandro, married Trump and his second wife, Marla Maples, who also attended Marble.

Trump told The New York Times he isn't sure he ever officially joined Marble, which was affiliated with the Reformed Church in America, and said, "I haven't been back since Dr. Caliandro passed away," three years ago. Last year, Marble Collegiate issued a statement saying that Trump is not "an active member" of the church. Peale preached that it is possible to be wealthy and spiritually successful, and Trump and his father, Fred Trump, were big fans. Trump calls Peale "a great preacher and a great public speaker," and the admiration was mutual. "When the service was over, you said, 'I'd have sat there for another hour,'" Trump told The Times. "There aren't too many people like that. It wasn't the speaking ability, it was the thought process."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us
Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.