Georgia now has its first Black U.S. Senator, but who is Rev. Raphael Warnock?
Here are five things to know about Warnock.
1. Warnock is one of only 11 Black men and women to be elected senator, WSB reported. The group includes former President Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. He defeated Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who had been appointed to fill the seat left vacant by Johnny Isakson who had stepped down for health reasons. Warnock will serve the remaining three years of Isakson’s term.
2. Warnock is the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, the same church that was lead by Martin Luther King Jr. He has served as senior pastor since 2005. He said Wednesday he will still preach on Sunday to keep the connection with his community.
“I intend to return to my pulpit and preach on Sunday mornings and to talk to the people. Listen, one of the things that I’ve learned from being a pastor is that it is really the people who teach you how to be a good pastor and an effective pastor, and I think it’s the people who teach you how to be an effective senator. And so the last thing I want to do is to become disconnected from the community and just spend all of my time talking to the politicians. I might accidentally become one and I have no intention of becoming a politician. I intend to become a public servant,” he told CNN Wednesday morning.
3. Warnock, according to his biography on Ebenezer Baptist Church’s website, is a graduate of the Leadership Program sponsored by the Greater Baltimore Committee, the Summer Leadership Institute of Harvard University and Leadership Atlanta.
He graduated from Morehouse College cum laude in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. He has a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, graduating with honors and distinctions. He has a Master of Philosophy degree and Doctor of Philosophy degree in systemic theology from Union.
4. He is an author, having written “The Divided Mind of the Black Church: Theology, Piety & Public Witness.” According to the synopsis on Amazon, the book examines, “What is the true nature and mission of the church? Is its proper Christian purpose to save souls, or to transform the social order? This question is especially fraught when the church is one built by an enslaved people and formed, from its beginning, at the center of an oppressed community’s fight for personhood and freedom. Such is the central tension in the identity and mission of the black church in the United States.”
5. Warnock delivered the closing prayer at the 2013 Inaugural Prayer Service at the National Cathedral. He also gave the sermon at the annual White House Prayer breakfast in March 2016.
Cox Media Group