7 Things To Know About Ebenezer Baptist Church’s Rev. Warnock, Leading Democrat Senate Candidate In Georgia

7 Things To Know About Ebenezer Baptist Church’s Rev. Warnock, Leading Democrat Senate Candidate In Georgia

7 Things To Know About Ebenezer Baptist Church’s Rev. Warnock, Leading Democrat Senate Candidate In Georgia. Image from YouTube video posted by Raphael and Ouleye Warnock, Jan. 16, 2017.

Rev. Raphael Gamaliel Warnock of Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church is running in Georgia’s 2020 Senate special election for the seat currently held by Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

Since 2005, Warnock has been a pastor at Ebenezer, the spiritual home of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Voters are showing support online for the pastor and urging others to do the same.

“Other Democrats in this race, drop out and throw your support behind #Warnock now. Georgia can win this race with Warnock.Do the right thing for your country #Lieberman and drop out” Pan Thompson @th_pan tweeted.

Dr. Warnock is the son of two Pentecostal pastors and he decided to follow the calling of ministry at an early age. By the time he was 35, he was the fifth and the youngest person ever called to the senior pastorate of Ebenezer Baptist Church, which was founded in 1886, according to the church’s website

Prior to Ebenezer, Warnock studied and served within the pastoral ranks of other area congregations.

Here are seven things to know about Ebenezer Baptist Church’s Rev. Warnock, a leading Democrat senate candidate in Georgia.

1. Obama endorsed him

Former President Barack Obama has endorsed the Warnock in the tight race in Georgia’s special Senate election, The Hill reported.

“I’m proud to endorse these outstanding Democratic candidates who will work to get the virus under control, rebuild the economy and the middle class, and protect Americans’ health care and pre-existing conditions protections from Republican assault,” Obama said in a statement.

2. Leader, leader

Under Warnock’s leadership, more than 4,000 new members have joined the Ebenezer Church, which has a strong legacy of social activism.

Warnock is a graduate of a leadership program sponsored by the Greater Baltimore Committee, a graduate of the Summer Leadership Institute of Harvard University, and a graduate of Leadership Atlanta. He graduated from Morehouse College cum laude in 1991. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and a master of divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Warnock continued his graduate studies at Union, receiving master’s and doctor of philosophy degrees in the field of systematic theology. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc., and a Lifetime Member of the NAACP.    

3. Invoking King’s legacy 

Warnock is hoping his association with King and other civil rights leaders will come in handy during his campaign for one of Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats on the ballot in November, The Atlantic reported.

If he wins, Warnock could be the first Democratic senator elected from Georgia in two decades, and the first Black senator from Georgia ever. 

4. Following Stacey Abrams’ lead

Observers said Warnock’s campaign is inspired by a close ally, Stacey Abrams, who ran for the Georgia governor’s seat in 2018. His pitch, as was hers, is “based on math, motivation, and morality,” The Atlantic reported. 

As far as math, there has been a surge in registrations among young, Black and brown people — potential voters for Warnock. Democrats in the area are looking for someone to motivate them after dealing with the covid-19 pandemic, racist violence, and outrage over Trump.

Warnock’s identity as a progressive pastor and activist may help him win in Georgia, “a state where three-quarters of the population attend religious services at least somewhat regularly,” The Atlantic reported.

5. Pastor, politician, and daddy

Warnock has become a master at multitasking. He has been campaigning, pastoring a 6,000-person congregation that has suffered a number of coronavirus deaths, and also taking care of his two small children, who are 1 and 4, The Atlantic reported.

 “I literally am talking to Elizabeth Warren one minute, and changing Caleb’s poopy diaper the next,” Warnock said.

6. BLM backlash a plus

When Sen. Loeffler, one of Warnock’s opponents and a co-owner of the WNBA team the Atlanta Dream, criticized the league’s involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement, players protested by wearing shirts that said “Vote Warnock”, The Washington Post reported.

7. Warnock, wife involved in dispute

Warnock was accused by his estranged wife of running over her foot with his car during a heated argument, just days before he filed paperwork to officially seek the office, according to a police report obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.

Warnock was not charged with a crime. Medical officials didn’t find visible signs of injury, according to the Atlanta police. He has denied the allegation that he harmed his wife.

“The divorce settlement secured in legal terms my parental rights in the case of international travel. I felt we needed to have that resolved before traveling internationally. It’s literally a matter of signing a form. That’s where a dispute arose,” he told AJC.