Pastor Paula White-Cain Opens Up About Ministry, Politics, and Being Misunderstood

Pastor Paula White-Cain is one of the nation’s biggest influencers. She is sold out for Jesus as a prolific speaker, writer, pastor, and advisor to former President, President Trump. Her leadership has drawn thousands of people closer to Jesus. But she still may be one of the most misunderstood pastors of our time. In episode 36 of The Influencers Podcast, Paula opens up and shares some of her most intimate memories from her childhood, her first encounter with Jesus, and how she is misunderstood. Read the episode highlights below and listen to the full episode at


Paula came from what she describes as a non-churched, “well-to-do” family. Up until she was five years old, she viewed her father as her hero — the daddy who drew smiley faces on her pancakes. Then one night everything changed after her father was arrested for physically abusing her mother and later committed suicide. “That night changed my life drastically,” Paula explained. “To this day, I can look and see God in every aspect of our life, but I’ve had to look hard to find that at times. A father figure has an extreme bearing on your life.”

Paula describes her dysfunctional childhood with a raging, alcoholic mother, no money, very little food, and sexual and physical abuse; followed by teen years of drugs, sex, and “wild living.” Then at 18 years old, someone told Paula about the Bible and a man named Jesus.

“I walked outside and the grass for the first time in my life was green and the sky was blue. And for 2 years, I did nothing but stay in the Word of God.”

From then on, Paula explains how she found a God-given sense of purpose in her life and began to do ministry the only way she knew how: by helping people in need and telling them how much God loved them with the Gospel. With a strong desire to be a wife and mother, she was influenced early on by people she held in high esteem and began to take the public stage in ministry at a very young age. According to Paula, “much of my misunderstanding, I think, comes from growing up in front of people.”

Paula reveals how she has never fully understood the phrase “prosperity preacher” and has found it confusing from its elusive and repeatedly changing Wikipedia definitions. She has never believed or preached that a person should give so they can receive wealth and health from God. Regardless of how her words may get twisted, Paula believes we get to give to God rather than we give to get from God. And that our God is good and He is a giver.

When it comes to Christian-celebritism, Paula hates the idea. “I have a deep sense of knowing that He is the light. I’m just a reflection of the light. I go into the world and wake up every day to reflect Jesus in the good works that I carry out.”

“I’ve always had this intense knowledge that I’m an inadequate person–there’s no good thing in me except Jesus Christ. The culture of ministry in the 90s conditioned a lot of people to look more at a person than at Jesus. And I’m genuinely repentant and sorrowful for any eyes that ever got on me and didn’t get on Jesus, because that was never my intention, never has been.”

Paula shares her story in greater length and detail in episode 36 of The Influencers Podcast. Listen and subscribe today!