ATLANTA--From all over Georgia and even as far as Ohio and California, black, and white, Asian and Latina, Methodist, Baptist, and other denominations came together on July 8 at Centennial Olympic Park to promote three F’s to live by: Faith, Family and Freedom.
Hosted by Atlanta’s Full Gospel Baptist Church International, the rally addressed the protection of voting rights, economic empowerment, the repeal of “Stand Your Ground” laws, the importance of restoring moral values to the family, racial equality, as well as physical and mental wellness.
Leaders of the event marched from the CNN Center to Centennial Olympic Park, where the rally took place.
“I am truly blessed to be in the presence of such phenomenally-blessed speakers and performers. It’s so good to see that we are able to cross denominational lines when it comes to what God is doing in this season,” said Bishop Paul S. Morton, pastor of Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International. “We as Christians are now the people who society has decided to target in an effort to silence us. That will not happen on my watch. We are as determined as ever to take a stand against any form of social injustice. We want the world to know that we stand with and on the word of God.”
The 90-degree heat at the “3-F Gathering” didn’t wilt the spirit of the crowd who attended the rally. The spirit was high as gospel recording artists William Murphy and Isaac Carree took to the stage and an All-Star list of preachers and speakers gave words of encouragement including Bishop Morton, Pastor Raphel G. Warnock of Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, and Bishop Joseph Walker, who pastors one of the largest churches in the United States, Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Nashville.
“It is important to have events like this, to bring faith to bear on critical issues and address those issues on a public square. At this rally, spiritually and politics come together for the importance of building a better world,” said Pastor Warnock. “I’m grateful that this rally represents everything the mission of the church stands for: to preach the good news to the poor, to open the eyes of the blind and to set the captives free.”
Religious leaders said it was critical for them to come together for the event.
“Today, we cross denominational and racial lines as we not only stand against injustice, inequality and moral decay, but as we also stand for redemption and reconciliation. While others remain quiet, we are speaking up, we are standing up so those others may get up and join the shift that is taking place,” said Pastor Walker.
Walker will take the reigns of Bishop Morton’s church in 2015. Morton is retiring.
Janice Scott, who made the rally a part of her trip from Sacramento, CA to visit her sister, Marilyn, said the event was inspirational to say the least.
“My sister asked me to make this a part of my trip to Atlanta and I’m really glad I did because you hear these messages all the time in the church, but it’s another level to take those messages out into the community to meet them where they are,” said Scott. “We are bearing the heat because at this event, the kingdom is being advanced and we are representing the nature and message of the Gospel of Christ.”