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Lowell Brueckner

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Please, Let’s Be Factual


Young Trump and his Scottish mom, Mary (MacLeod) Trump
I turned 76 on July 14 and I have been instructed from the Bible for as long as I can remember. I have read from its pages since the time that I learned to read. I would say that I have been a serious student of the Bible for 56 years and I have found it to be totally reliable and a virtual fountain of truth. All criticism, as to its authenticity or alleged contradictions, easily melt in the light of honest investigation and a little common sense. It is true and factual historically, geographically, prophetically, and most importantly, in its presentation of spiritual truth.

Unfortunately, I have learned over the years that accounts told by Bible-believing Christian have to be checked out. Rumors and half-trues have been repeated to the point that they are ultimately accepted as truth. Many have been deceived, one of the signs of the times that we live in. Such is the account that I want to bring to your attention in this article. It concerns President Trump’s supposed connection with the Hebrides Revival and those who were vitally involved in that movement.

I want you to know that I am a firm believer in revival and the revival on the island of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides is probably the one that has most impressed me over the years. I listened to its stories since I was a child, listened to many sermons and testimonies by Duncan Campbell, the prominent preacher in the revival. I have bought and passed out a book, Channel of Revival, written by a man named, Andrew Woolsey, concerning the movement. My wife and I rented a vacation house near Barvis and went with our family to visit. We simply wanted to get a first-hand view of what had taken place during 1949-1951 on Lewis.

We rented a vacation house near Barvis and went to the Barvis Church on a Sunday morning, the site where the revival broke out. We were served mutton stew for Sunday dinner in the home of people, who housed Duncan Campbell during the revival. We listened to their wonderful stories of things that happened during that time. On Sunday evening, I was invited to speak in a chapel, where the service was conducted totally in Gaelic, (except for my message) as they were during the revival. We visited with the islanders, who had experienced the revival.  

Peggy and Christine Smith with Duncan Campbell
You will never hear stories at any length, concerning this great move of God, before the names of two old ladies are mentioned. They were sisters, Christine and Peggy Smith, one 84-years-old and nearly blind, and the other 82, who seldom left their home, but communed with God intimately. I want to share a link, in which you can hear an hour-long account by Duncan Campbell, in his own words, concerning the revival. You do yourself a favor, if you will listen to it, as you have opportunity:

Several months ago, I read for the first time an account connecting Donald Trump with the two old ladies mentioned. I thought, wouldn’t this be a wonderful fact and I talked about it with my wife. I shared the story, personally, with other friends. I wrote the publisher of the article, asking if they had any evidence of the connection claimed in the article, which they published. I hoped to publish it myself on this blogspot. To this day, I haven’t received an answer.

Then I heard the video of Dr. Clarence Sexton, pastor of Temple Baptist Church and founder and president of The Crown College. I had no way of contacting Dr. Sexton directly, so I wrote an email to the college, asking for more information or, if they could not provide it, would they pass my message along to someone, who could provide that information. I haven’t received an answer from them either.

In the meantime, I decided to surf the internet to see what information I could find. I sincerely wanted the story to be true because, first spiritually and then politically, I am a conservative and I have been pleased with the steps taken by the Trump administration towards family values and Christian principles. It would be astounding to me, if these godly ladies could somehow have been involved in what is taking place today! I will share with you the well-documented information that I was able to find and will present it here, along with links, so that you can see for yourself.

I will not accuse Dr. Sexton of purposely giving false information, because I have no clue as to whether the story originated with him. If it did not, then I have no idea, who his sources were. The story contains many facts, which are true, but a number of claims are grossly misrepresented and are simply fabrications. The only reason, for which I will point my finger at Dr. Sexton, is to say that he failed to do his homework. Because his video has been circulated among thousands of people, that failure is major negligence, and winds up doing the cause of the Hebrides revival and the gospel itself a disservice. If Dr. Sexton has learned of his error, he should publicly recognize it and do all that is possible to right the wrong.

Peggy and Christine Smith are not President Trump’s great-aunts

Trump visits his mother's croft in 2008
Let us delve into the main issue… The claim that the sisters, Peggy and Christine Smith, are great-aunts of the president. To be sure, he has roots on the Isle of Lewis. His mother, Mary Anne (MacLeod) Trump, was born near the capital of Stornoway in an adjacent village called Tong. (Trump visited his mother’s home in 2008.) At the age of 17 she emigrated to the U.S. and married Fred Trump.

The Smith name in her family tree dates back to her grandfather, Donald Smith, who drowned in Broad Bay off Stornoway in October of 1868. He was 35-years-old and he left behind a widow, Mary (MacAulay) Smith and four children, Ann, John, Duncan, and Mary Ann, all of them, of course, carrying the family name, Smith. Mary Ann (Smith) MacLeod, only one-year-old, when her father died, was Mary Anne Trump’s mother and Donald Trump’s grandmother. Dr. Sexton states emphatically that Mary Anne Trump was so impressed with a boy named Donald, who was greatly used in the revival, that she named her son after him. He claims that this boy was her cousin. That I do not know and cannot find the evidence, but the case could be made also that Mrs. Trump named her son after her grandfather, Donald, who was drowned at sea. She also had a brother named Donald.

Trump's grandma
Ann, John, and Duncan were Mrs. Trump’s aunt and uncles, therefore Donald’s great-aunt and great-uncles. As you can see, there were no Christine and Peggy (Margaret) Smith among them and these are the only Smiths to be found in the family tree. Therefore, the claim that Christine and Peggy were Donald’s great-aunts is false. (You can get this information from several sources. Mary Anne (MacLeod) Trump’s family tree is well-documented.) You can see for yourself in this one:

This chronology of Mary (MacAulay) Smith will show her children, Trump’s great-aunt and great-uncles.

(Please scroll down to page 51 and notice his great-grandfather’s death at sea, no.14)

Donald Trump’s Bible did not come from the revival

The second issue to discuss is the Bible given to Donald Trump by his mother and used on inauguration day. Dr. Sexton said that the two alleged great-aunts of the president “sent a Bible used in a special way during the revival”. He said that they sent it to his mother. This is easily disproved. Trump did use the Bible for inauguration, which his mother gave to him, and on the day that he graduated from Sunday School, it was signed by the pastor and teachers. She had Donald’s name engraved on the cover. He also used the Lincoln Bible. Here is a newspaper article concerning it…

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2018When President Donald J. Trump took the oath of office in January 2017, he rested his hand on both the Lincoln Bible and his childhood Bible. Trump received this Revised Standard Version (RSV) Bible from his mother as a child and carried it with him to Sunday school classes at First Presbyterian Church in Queens, New York. Upon his graduation from primary Sunday school in 1955, the Bible was inscribed by his pastor and Sunday school teachers.

RSV inaugeration Bible, now in Museum of the Bible
Also, we should understand, that the meetings in the revival were conducted in Gaelic, reading from Gaelic Bibles, so that an important use of an English Bible is highly unlikely. Multiple sources will tell you that Trump’s Bible was a Revised Standard Version Bible. You will find that, although the RSV New Testament was published in 1946, the complete RSV Bible did not come out until September, 1952, by the time the Lewis Revival had come to an end. Here are a couple links that will establish the fact:

Dr. Sexton also said that the “Hebrides Revival Bible”… “That Revival Bible is in the Oval Office” No, it is not! The truth can be obtained through various sources reporting on the inauguration and the whereabouts of that Bible today. The same newspaper article quoted above also stated:

WASHINGTON, March 14, 2018Today, that childhood Bible joined a collection of other presidential Bibles currently on display at Washington’s newest museum, Museum of the Bible. It will join other artifacts in the museum’s second-floor Bible in the World exhibit to help tell the story of the impact the Bible has had on our world.

Here is a link from the museum itself:

Fake news

I want to offer a link, which will confirm what I am trying to present to you, as a secondary source:

Trump revival Bible is fake news, but Hebrides revival was real

To add a dramatic conclusion to the story, it (the video by Dr. Sexton) was said the revival Bible was now sitting in the Oval Office, leading some to see it as a sign of impending revival in America. The only problem is that none of the key facts in the story could be verified, and the Bible given to President Trump by his mother is now sitting in The Museum of the Bible – not the Oval Office — and was printed after the revival took place. The school asked the creator of the video to remove it from the Internet, not wanting to face a politically-motivated backlash from it.

The actual Hebrides Revival or Lewis Awakening took place between 1949 and 1952 at a time when the church on the island was complacent and slumbering, if not dead. Young people were turned off by the church, with many alienated by a legalistic spirit. Duty rather than devotion led to a lifeless expression of faith.

You will see, when you listen to Duncan Campbell’s report on the revival, that there was not a gradual build-up to it, as the speaker seemed to suggest, but came down from heaven powerfully, shortly before Campbell came to the island.


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