Historic inner city church holds initiative ballot forum - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Historic inner city church holds initiative ballot forum

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Faith based organizations take on the three initiatives Mississippians will decide at the polls.

Clergy from a Jackson church met with the NAACP and civil rights attorneys to discuss the impact of the proposed laws.

Mount Helm Baptist Church in Jackson hosted a faith based community education forum on the ballot measures.

The Personhood Amendment, voter ID and eminent domain were discussed.

Organizers said people of faith and values must be informed of the implications the proposed laws would have on families and parishioners.

Jackson State University Junior Denai Lindsey went with her English Composition class.

"It's useful in his class. We always write about politics, religion, voter based things like that," Lindsey said. "I'm actually quite interested in seeing what they're talking about. So I guess I'll learn a lot more today.

Panelists included Mississippi NAACP representative Gus McCoy, Rev. Timothy McDonald III, an Atlanta minister with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, civil rights attorney Carroll Rhodes, civil rights activist Stephanie Parker-Weaver speaking on eminent domain and Dr. Nicole Lee, an OB/GYN.

Members of the audience were issued index cards and posed questions about each initiative.

"The church has historically been a part of reaching out to the community informing the electorate because mainly we're talking about souls who have to go and vote and live and shop and play and so I think in addition to spiritual leadership, we also provide civic leadership as well," said Rev. C.J. Rhodes, senior pastor at Mount Helm Baptist Church.

Also in attendance were clergy from various denominations, elected officials, ACLU and Pro-Life representatives.

Giant bill boards with graphic images of aborted fetuses were set up across from the church.

Pastor Rhodes said the protestors were welcome to come inside and participate in the conversation.

About 100 people attended the community forum.

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