PRESS RELEASE from Obama for America


Dec. 4, 2007

Renowned Faith Leaders Come Together to Support Obama

Unprecedented group of nation’s top Black religious leaders unveiled

CHARLESTON, S.C. –U.S. Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign today unveiled its African American Religious Leadership Committee at both the national and statewide levels. Together, they represent two groups of key national and South Carolina religious leaders who are supporting Obama’s bid for the Democratic nomination.

These groups are truly without equal and reflect the belief among clergy that Obama has dedicated his public life to living the values of his faith outside of his house of worship.  The national leadership committee is made up of presidents of two of the largest national Baptist conventions; the most senior Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, some of the most well-known African American women religious leaders and living legends of the Civil Rights movement, Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery and Dr. C.T. Vivian; and many others.

Bishop Walter Scott Thomas and Lowery joined Vivian in Charleston to unveil the list. South Carolina ministers attending the event included Rev. Ralph Canty of Savannah Grove Baptist in Effingham, Rev. Dr. Charles Heyward of St. James Presbyterian on James Island and Revs. Alanza Washington of Wallingford Presbyterian in Charleston and Julius McDowell of Big Wesley United Methodist in Hollywood.

The South Carolina leadership committee includes nearly 130 senior pastors from some of the largest and most important churches across the state.  Both groups represent Senator Obama’s support among thousands of Black clergy and religious leaders across America, leaders who have come to recognize that Obama represents change they can believe in.

“This is an unprecedented group for an unprecedented candidate,” said National African American Religious Committee Co-Chair Rev. Otis Moss, Jr., a civil rights legend and former president of the Morehouse University Board of Trustees. “As a lifelong advocate for the less fortunate and the forgotten, Senator Obama lives his faith everyday.  He continues to talk about a faith that works to unite and not divide people.”

Obama often speaks about the role his faith plays in his public and family life and how it influences his approach to the great issues that face the country -- healthcare, education and poverty. The National African American Religious Leadership Committee meets on regular conference calls to support Senator Obama.

The South Carolina campaign has held Obama Faith Forums across the state, launched the “40 Days of Faith & Family” effort, and reached out to people of faith to help them organize within their own networks to spread the word about Obama. So far, the Obama campaign has recruited more than 200 Faith Community Contacts – grassroots church leaders who are identifying and educating voters in advance of the primary election – in 27 counties.

“Americans need a leader whose values are rooted in the belief that we must care for the least of these, that we have a responsibility to our fellow man and that if one of us is not succeeding, then all of us are not succeeding,” Canty said. “We believe that Senator Obama is that leader.”

A list of national and South Carolina ministers supporting Obama can be viewed by clicking the following links: South Carolina and national.

*Endorsements from religious leaders are extended in their personal capacity, and not on behalf of any house of worship, organization or denomination.


Contact:          Kevin Griffis   Amaya Smith

Rev. Dr. Claude R. Alexander, Jr.
Senior Pastor
University Park Baptist Church
Charlotte, NC

Rev. Dr. Willie Barrow
Co-founder, Rainbow PUSH Coalition

Dr. Michael Battle
President, Interdenominational Theological Center
Atlanta, GA

Bishop Dr. Arthur M. Brazier
Senior Pastor
Apostolic Church of God
Chicago, IL

The Rt. Rev. E. Lynn Brown
Presiding Bishop, 2nd Episcopal District
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

The Rev. Dr. Grainger Browning, Jr.
Senior Pastor
Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church
Ft. Washington, MD

Dr. Iva E. Carruthers
General Secretary
Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference

Dean Lawrence Edward Carter
Dean, Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel
Morehouse College

Dr. E.T. Caviness
Greater Abyssinian Baptist Church
Cleveland, Ohio

Rev. Dr. Delman L. Coates
Senior Pastor
Mt. Ennon Baptist Church
Clinton, MD

Rev. Dr. Marcus D. Cosby
Senior Pastor
Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church
Houston, TX

The Rt. Rev. Philip Robert Cousin, Sr.
Senior Bishop of the A.M.E. Church
Presiding Bishop, Fourth Episcopal District
African Methodist Episcopal Church

Rev. Dr. Gerald Durley
Senior Pastor
Providence Missionary Baptist Church
Atlanta, GA

Pastor Michael Eaddy
Senior Pastor
People's Church of the Harvest Church of God in Christ
Atlanta, Georgia

Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale
Senior Pastor
Ray of Hope Christian Church
Atlanta, GA

Rev. Dr. Freddie D. Haynes, III
Senior Pastor
Friendship-West Baptist Church
Dallas, TX

 Dr. Obery M. Hendricks
New York Theological Seminary

Rev. Dr. Arthur L. Hilson
Senior Pastor
New Hope Baptist Church
Portsmouth, NH

Rev. Dr. John Hunter, Sr.
Senior Pastor
First African Methodist Episcopal Church
Los Angeles, CA

Rev. Dr. M.L. Jemison
Former President, Progressive National Baptist
Senior Pastor, St. John Missionary Baptist Church
Oklahoma City, OK

Rev. Dr. Charles Jenkins
Senior Pastor
Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church
Chicago, IL

Rev. Dr. Matthew Vaughn Johnson
Senior Pastor
Christian Fellowship Baptist Church
Atlanta, GA

The Rt. Rev. T. Larry Kirkland
Presiding Bishop, 9th Episcopal District
African Methodist Episcopal Church

The Rev. Alvin Love
National Baptist General State Convention of Illinois

Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery
Civil Rights Icon
Founder, Former President, and Chair, Southern Christian Leadership

Bishop Cody V. Marshall
Presiding Bishop, Illinois Northern District
Church of God in Christ, Inc.

The Rt. Rev. E.  Earl McCloud
Office of Ecumenical & Urban Affairs
African Methodist Episcopal Church

The Rt. Rev. Vashti Murphy McKenzie
Presiding Bishop, 13th Episcopal District
African Methodist Episcopal Church

Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr.
Senior Pastor
Olivet Institutional Baptist Church

Rev. Otis Moss, III
Trinity United Church of Christ
Chicago, IL

Rev. Dr. Craig Oliver
Senior Pastor
Elizabeth Baptist Church
Atlanta, GA

Rev. Joel R. Peebles
Jericho City of Praise
Landover, MD

Rev. Bertha Perkins
Senior Pastor, New Fellowship Baptist Church
Manchester, NH

Rev. Dr. Paul H. Sadler
Senior Pastor
Mt. Zion Congregational Church
Cleveland, OH

Dr. Kenneth L. Samuel
Senior Pastor
Victory for the World Church
Stone Mountain, GA

Rev. Dr. Barbara Williams Skinner
Co-founder and President
Skinner Leadership Institute

Rev. Dr. T. DeWitt Smith, Jr.
Progressive National Baptist Convention

Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith
Senior Pastor
Allen Temple Baptist Church
Oakland, CA

Rev. Dr. E. Dewey Smith, Jr.
Senior Pastor
Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church
Atlanta, GA

Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith
Senior Pastor
Advent United Church of Christ
Columbus, OH
Rev. Edward L. Taylor
Senior Pastor
Emmanuel Baptist Church
San Jose, CA

Bishop Walter Scott Thomas
Senior Pastor
New Psalmist Baptist Church
Baltimore, MD

Rev. Dr. Frank A. Thomas
Senior Pastor
Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church
Memphis, TN

Rev. Dr. Robert Thompson
Exeter Academy
Exeter, NH

Rev. Dr. Stephen John Thurston
National Baptist Convention of America

Bishop Larry D. Trotter
Senior Pastor
Sweet Holy Spirit Church
Chicago, IL

Rev. Albert D. Tyson, III
Senior Pastor
St. Stephen A.M.E. Church
Chicago, IL

Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian
Civil Rights Icon

Pastor Lance Watson
Senior Pastor
The St. Paul's Baptist Church
Richmond, VA

Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.*
Senior Pastor
Trinity United Church of Christ
Chicago, IL
Senator Barack Obama's Pastor