Herman Cain, minister?

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Thanks to his current status as co-frontrunner in the GOP presidential sweepstakes, Herman Cain is now coming in for some serious media scrutiny–from his policy positions to his views on race. But thus far, his religious identity has gotten little attention. Here’s what he had to say to CBN’s David Brody back in March.

I’m a Baptist preacher. A lot of people don’t know that. My
parents joined Antioch Baptist Church North in Atlanta in the mid 40s
when they moved to Atlanta when I was 2 years old. That was the church I
grew up in. That was the church I joined at 10 years of age. I’ve been
in the church all my life. When I moved around in my corporate career, I
always stayed involved in the church.

So my faith is a big part of who I am and at my church now, which
is the same one I grew up in, I’m one of the Associate Ministers there
because I was called to the ministry. Sometimes when people are called
to the ministry they think that God wants them to give up something
else. But God has done some magnificent things with my life, especially
what he has done in terms of my health.

Antioch is not one of your newfangled name-it-and-claim-it megachurches. It’s a pillar of Atlanta’s black Baptist establishment, headed by Rev. Cameron M. Alexander, a luminary whom the city honored last year by renaming the street for him. Alexander is very much in the civil rights tradition, wanting people to know that he “organized” the bus boycott in Macon when he pastored there in the early sixties. Antioch itself has a wide range of ministries to the poor, and lists dozens of members of the church as ministers of one kind or another. But Herman Cain’s name is not on the list.

Update: CNN has a fine piece on Antioch and Cain’s place in it by my old AJC colleague John Blake and Eric Marrapodi. But no indication why he’s not listed among the associate ministers.

  • I really like Herman Cain. It is unfortunate that these people can come out of the woodwork and lob these accusations against him. No matter what party you are part of no one deserves to be falsly accused. I don’t know if he did it or not but it seems very odd.