Columbia, SC (WLTX) - You rarely hear politics from the pulpit, but Sunday at one Midlands church that's what the congregation got.
"Our choices do not have to be the same but we all have the right to chose," said Celestine Parker, who is running for Richland County Council.
Churches are a hot spot for candidates and at Jones Memorial AME Zion Church in Columbia, they decided to invite candidates from both political parties to speak to the church. The church is a diverse group of people," said Pastor James Williams.
Williams says knowing that there are Democrats and Republicans in just about every congregation and he wanted candidates to come and let the people make their own choices. "It says to people that candidates are just ordinary people," he said.
Moryah Jackson is running for Richland District One School Board. She lives down the street from the church and says it's important to show the community both sides. "We have to make sure that all voices are represented and I think it is important that all candidates come out and spread the word," said Jackson.
Valerie Hutchinson is a Republican who is running for re-election on Richland County Council. She believes politics are divided but if you look at it we agree on a lot of the same issues. "We have animal care, roads, sewage, none of those are partisan issues and everyone is concerned with those. Our public school, so I think it is good to remind people that we are all in this together," said Hutchinson.
Parker believes that we should not be so concerned with political parties. "It's not the party that is going to do what needs to be done it is the person and your party affiliation does not determine that you are going to be so great. You have to love people and be a people person," she said.
Pastor Williams says this is informative for the community and they hope to hold more forums in the future. "The community belongs to all of us and if we come together and work together we can accomplish more than just one church or one person or one body," said Williams.