The Republican courting of black clergy, evident during the 2004 presidential campaign, has picked up the pace again, to the dismay of some Democrats.
The first of seven regional U.S. conferences drew scores of African-American ministers February 1 to a Los Angeles megachurch headed by televangelist Frederick K. C. Price. The meeting was designed to build support for banning same-sex marriage—an issue that resonated with black pastors last year.
A prominent Washington area pastor, Bishop Henry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Lanham, Maryland—a registered Democrat who voted for Bush last year—hosted the regional summit. But he also unveiled the “Black Contract with America on Moral Values,” contending that black churches are not changing lives while trying to fit into morally conservative and politically liberal labels.