Black Clergy Give Senator-Elect Elizabeth Warren a Prayerful Send-Off

In a rousing prayer session in a small brick church in Dorchester Sunday evening, Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren asked the city's black ministers and church members to pray for her as she heads to Washington, D.C., and vowed to fulfill her duty to represent the least powerful.

The hourlong service at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church reflected the close relationships Warren built with black church leaders during her campaign, and her presence cemented their faith that she will fight for them, they said. Preachers and members from a dozen churches gathered for the send-off.

"We prayed for her all along, before every debate, before her speech in Charlotte, and I'm confident prayer works," said Rev. Miniard Culpepper, whose grandfather founded Pleasant Hill Baptist 70 years ago. "I'm convinced the spiritual side of her made a difference."

About 100 people attended the service at the Humboldt Avenue church, near the Roxbury line, filling a dozen rows of plain wooden pews. They listened intently when Warren came to the pulpit, thanked them for their prayers, and asked them to continue praying for her.

She said she considers it her duty to represent those with the least wealth and power, and cited a Bible story from the book of Matthew, when Jesus divides the sheep and goats and sends the sheep to heaven, because they fed and clothed "the least of my brethren."

Warren called the story her favorite Bible passage, one she memorized as a child and taught in Sunday school. She said she has returned to it as she prepares for what's next, and she asked the churchgoers to keep her mindful of it.

"This is the perfect time to remind myself, and everyone here, why I got into the race," Warren said. "It's written on my heart, and I want you to call on me to do it, every day that I'm in the Senate . . . I have this chance because your prayers lifted me up."

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SOURCE: Boston Globe
Jenna Russell
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