Church congregations from across the nation will turn to First Baptist Church of Charlotte on Sunday as the congregation hosts a video news conference, emphasizing to Christians the importance of voting.
The mission behind the event, iPledge Sunday: A Call to Faith, Family and Freedom, is to mobilize Christians to vote, said J.P. Duffy, spokesman for the event.
The 90-minute conference will focus on three goals for participants: To pledge to pray for the upcoming presidential election, to prepare by registering to vote and to participate by voting on Nov. 6, Duffy said.
Kickoff will be at the church, 301 S. Davidson St., in uptown, at 7 p.m. More than 200 churches nationwide are expected to tune into the simulcast.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, a Christian organization in Washington, D.C., that promotes the traditional family unit, said the simulcast is being hosted in Charlotte because it is a swing state.
Perkins, one of the event organizers, said the location came down to North Carolina or Ohio. But one reason organizers chose Charlotte was because of the states recent vote in favor of a marriage amendment to the state constitution to only recognize domestic legal unions between one man and one woman.
I think it says a lot for Charlotte ... you were the host of the DNC, Perkins said, referring to of last weeks Democratic National Convention. But I also think Charlotte has a prominent place, and it is playing a significant role of the country in this coming election.
Also appearing at First Baptist will be actor and producer Kirk Cameron; former U.S. Sen. and Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum; New York City Councilman Fernando Cabrera; and Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Maryland.
On video, evangelist Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, is also expected to make a statement.
Religious liberty, life, marriage and the economy will be discussed in the video conference.
(Planning the event) has taken place over a number of months. This follows the state voting overwhelmingly to protect marriage, Duffy said. And we recently had the president coming out and slapping the voters in the face to redefine marriage.
He was referring to President Barack Obamas support of same-sex marriage.
Perkins said the conference will not be used to endorse a presidential candidate; it is intended to generate discussion and prepare voters.
Topics of marriage and the sanctity of life will be discussed. Cabrera will speak on the church-school relationship in New York.
Duffy said a number of churches in New York have been told by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg that they are no longer allowed to rent space in public schools to use for church services. The reason, Duffy said to separate church and state.
Following the video conference, churches will be providing their congregations with voter registration kits to prepare them for Novembers election.
We are approaching one of the most critical elections of our lifetime and so many critical issues are at stake, Duffy said. Its important that every Christian be involved and be registered to vote.