Local Republican Leaders Meet With African-American Pastors At Faith Forum
The Duval County Republican Party hosted a forum at historic Edward Waters College in Jacksonville on Tuesday night to explore the issue of the role of people of faith in modern politics.
Just over 100 people from all political parties attended the event moderated by Representative Jennifer Carroll to ask questions and explore one of the most misunderstood political issues of modern time and of history: Thomas Jefferson's now famous phrase: "separation of church and state."
Chairman Lenny Curry and Vice Chairman Sam Newby were joined by Rev. Mark Griffin of Wayman Ministries, Dr. John E. Guns of St. Paul's Missionary Baptist Church, Pastor Cory Williams of Life in the Spirit Church and Deacon Shawn Ashley of Faith Christian Center.
"We all walked away with a better understanding of each other, the challenges facing Jacksonville and the unique perspective individuals bring. We were there to listen and we left inspired by these community leaders. Not surprisingly, communities come together on the issues of morality and ethics," said Curry.
The event was the brainchild of Chris Nwasike, President of Duval County's Young Republican organization and was organized with the help of Kevin Cleary of the Republican Party of Florida.
"This community event was about sharing ideas, information and perspectives," said Newby.
Newby stated that the most surprising fact to many is that 25% of the local Republican Party leadership is comprised of African American men and women.
"Although all black voters were originally Republican, there was a shift in party affiliation in the late 60s. The traditional values expressed by the pastors are a major factor in our community coming back to our historic roots. I look forward to more forums such as this one," he said.