By Mehgaan Jones
Area ministers, and others, are urging African-American voters who supported Democrats in 2008, to return to the polls on Nov. 2, in person, or by voting early.
"We believe that the black church will be in the forefront of a movement for black people to re-energize themselves, and to not take for granted, that just because we were victorious in 2008, that we will be in 2010," said Pastor Mitzi Bickers, of the Emmanuel Baptist Church, in Atlanta.
Pastor Bickers was among members of the clergy, county officials, and residents, who gathered at the Clayton County Historic courthouse, in Jonesboro, with signs and words, urging voter participation. The Clayton County Black Ministers Fellowship sponsored the rally, Thursday, to encourage voter participation in the upcoming Nov. 2, general election.
Rev. Isaiah Waddy, senior pastor of the Greater St. Peter AME Church, in Jonesboro, and chairman of the Clayton County Black Ministers Fellowship, said the clergy and county officials were present to stress the importance of voting. "I personally advance-voted this morning." he said.
"We are encouraging our congregation and constituents to really get out and push the effort for advanced voting...early voting," Waddy added.
Georgia Senator Gail Davenport, who is running for the senate district 44 again, also urged participation.
"Voting is not just a right but your responsibility," said Sen. Davenport. She encouraged those present to take their friends, neighbors, and relatives to the polls to vote. One vote can make a difference in an election, she added.
"I have lost elections by one vote, and I have won by one vote, in different organizations. I am here to tell you that every vote counts," she said.
"Some people have loud voices, others have quiet voices, but all of us can speak with the same voice, when we go to the polls and cast our vote," said the Rev. Dr. Wimbley Hale, Jr., senior pastor of Andrews Chapel United Methodist Church. He recalled a time when he first registered to vote, and had to pass a test to be able to vote. "All you have do is get up now, come to the polls, go by the desk, sign-in, get your ballot and speak your piece," said Hale.
Denise Slaughter, a Jonesboro resident, said the event was a great turnout. "It was very informative and good to see all the ministers," she said.
Rev. Waddy announced there will be a 'Get Out to Vote' rally on Sunday, Oct. 24, at 6 p.m., at Greater St. Peter AME church, located at 9540 Fayetteville Road, in Jonesboro.
"We cannot abandon the agenda of our president," Waddy said. "Let us pray hard, and encourage everyone we know to get out and vote."