Donald J. Trump will take the next step in his religious outreach effort next week when he announces the endorsement of a group of 100 African-American pastors and religious leaders at his Manhattan headquarters.
The Republican presidential candidate has a private meeting with the group scheduled on Monday before they make their offer of support official, according to his campaign. The endorsement comes as Mr. Trump has faced criticism for stoking racial tension and has seen his support among evangelical Christians start to waver in polls as voters consider Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Ben Carson.
That tension was evident this week after an activist for the group Black Lives Matter was beaten at a Trump campaign rally, and the billionaire developer said that perhaps the activist deserved to be roughed up. Mr. Trump also angered some when he sent a Twitter message that appeared to play down the recent spate of incidents of police brutality against African-Americans.
However, Mr. Trump has held several meetings with black religious leaders this year as he looks to broaden his appeal, and it appears that he has closed the deal with some of them.
Darrell Scott, the pastor of the New Spirit Revival Center in Ohio, helped organize the coalition of religious leaders and said that after meeting Mr. Trump in person he was convinced that Mr. Trump was the candidate best suited to be president. He also said that the public portrayals of Mr. Trump as a racist and demagogue seemed unfounded after they spoke.
“I was looking for some subtle hints of racism,” Mr. Scott said. “I didn’t see it at all.”