The African Methodist Episcopal Church this week moved to set the record straight about a story posted (July 1) on the "Charisma News" website and Facebook page. The story reported that the AME Church was threatening to withdraw support from President Barack Obama because of his stance on same sex marriage and that the AME Church was partnering with an organization called The Coalition of African American Pastors.
"As a denomination, we do not endorse candidates for any political office," said Bishop Samuel L. Green Sr., president of the AME Church Council of Bishops. "As such, we cannot 'withdraw' support from President Obama because we cannot endorse any candidate for political office and did not endorse the President. No organization has been authorized to speak for the AME Church.
Bishop Carolyn Tyler Guidry, chairperson of the AME Church's Commission on Social Action, said neither the AME Church nor its leadership is involved with or partnering with the Coalition of African-American Pastors.
The story in "Charisma News" bore a sad and striking resemblance to other stories that either stretch or totally abandon the truth in an effort to divide and conquer the African-American community, AME church officials said, condemning what was labeled "an effort to sow discord and misinformation.
The AME Church Social Action Commission has been directed to continue to encourage all citizens, and especially those touched by AME churches, to register and exercise the right to vote.
In the Episcopal Address to the worldwide church, the Bishops of the Church said, "We call upon each of our congregants to become registered and vote on election day...and urge all of our churches to conduct voter registration drives"
Bishop John R. Bryant, Senior Bishop of the AME Church, said, "We shall continue to advocate for the well being of all humankind, so that they can freely hear the liberating Gospel of Jesus the Christ."
(Special to the NNPA News Service from the L.A. Watts Times)