U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) goes back to Atlanta every Sunday to lead the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church as senior pastor. He's currently trying to balance his first full term on Capitol Hill with faith and politics.
The same pews that bore witness to sermons from Martin Luther King, Jr. during the civil rights movement now are filled with congregants and constituents watching a rising Democrat.
"Someone might ask 'why would a preacher get involved in something as messy as politics?' I'm a patriot. I love America. Only in America is my story possible. You're looking at a kid who grew up in public housing. I serve in the United States Senate," Warnock told CBN News during a congressional recess period when he was back in Georgia.
Warnock is battle tested. His recent re-election victory over opponent Herschel Walker needed a special runoff election to decide the outcome. It was the second time Warnock won under the circumstances in the last two election cycles. He won a special election in 2020 to become Georgia's first black senator, and the first Democrat elected to represent the Peach State in the U.S. Senate in 20 years.
While the political victories raised his profile, government wasn't always part of the plan.
"I'm a Matthew 25 Christian. 'In as much as you've done unto the least of these, you've done it unto Me.' When you feed the hungry, clothe those who are naked, you visit those who are sick and in prison. And so that's the work I've tried to do as a pastor. And what I've found over time is that my ministry at Ebenezer Baptist Church took me into the public square," he said.
Warnock said his faith drives him when advocating for things like racial justice, reducing gun violence and expanding healthcare. He frequently prays for and with his fellow members of Congress from both his own party and across the aisle.
One of his top priorities during his first few years in the Senate focused on capping insulin prices for Medicare recipients. The price was capped at $35 as a provision of the Inflation Reduction Act passed last year. He's now pushing a bipartisan effort to get the drug price capped for people with private insurance.
Warnock and U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) are the upper chamber's only two ordained ministers. There are three in the House. While the Scriptures they read from are from the same book, the partisan divides remain on a variety of topics with none more evident than the issue of abortion.
Warnock labels himself as a pro-choice pastor.
"You have not been shy about saying you're a pro-choice pastor. You know to some Christians out there at least, they're probably sitting at home and saying this guy's not a real Christian then," CBN News asked the senator.
For the original article, visit our content partners at CBN News. .
Reprinted with permission from cbn.com. Copyright © 2023 The Christian Broadcasting Network Inc. All rights reserved.
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