Black Church Leaders Encourage Congregants to Vote with 'Souls to the Polls' Initiative

  • Amanda Casanova Contributor
  • Published Oct 27, 2020
Black Church Leaders Encourage Congregants to Vote with 'Souls to the Polls' Initiative

Souls to the Polls is encouraging Black churches to vote in the presidential election.

“Family, this is the most important vote of my lifetime. And this Sunday, October 25th, is an early voting Sunday. We’re asking everyone to leave church. Leave virtual or in-person service … and vote!” the Rev. Greg Lewis, executive director of Souls to the Polls Milwaukee, said in an announcement on Facebook Friday.

Souls to the Polls started before the 2008 presidential election, where church leaders asked members to “take your souls to the polls” and go directly from Sunday services to the polls.

Souls to the Polls Milwaukee Program Coordinator Bruce Colburn told The Christian Post this week that the response to the effort has been “very good, very supportive.”

“People understand that this is a very important election and it affects their future very strongly,” he said.

In South Florida, hundreds of voters and volunteers showed up at an event Sunday to rally others to get to the polls.

“We’re celebrating getting out the vote,” said Katrice Johnson, a Hallandale Beach resident and organizer with the non-partisan group Faith in Florida. “We don’t care who you vote for. We just want you to vote.”

Minister Tim Griffith, of Pembroke Pines, told the crowd that every vote matters.

“It’s bigger than you,” he said of the upcoming election. “Tell your sons, tell your daughters, send out a mass text message [to get out the vote].”

Missionary Rochelle Landingham said 60 percent of the Black community voted in the 2012 election.

"What would happen if it was 85 or 90 percent of us?" she said.

"If you know your history, you know that we're standing on the backs of people who died for us to have this moment in time," Landingham said. "This is what they died for way back when — for us to vote in 2020."

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Seventy Four

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.