Charlotte churches focus on prayers, not politics, during DNC

Charlotte churches focus on prayers, not politics, during DNC


by TONY BURBECK / NewsChannel 36

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

Posted on September 3, 2012 at 12:00 AM

Updated Monday, Sep 3 at 12:00 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Prayer -- not politics and parties -- brought more than 4,000 people to Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Sunday night.

Organizers said they are taking advantage of so many eyes on Charlotte due to the Democratic National Convention to pray for the city and the country.

The event was called Charlotte714.

"It's a movement,” said organizer David Benham.

It’s comprised of more than 100 local churches and their members acting as one, dedicated to praying at 7:14 a.m. and 7:14 p.m. for 2 Chronicles 7:14 -- which speaks about being humble, seeking God, turning from wicked ways and being forgiven.

"Asking God for forgiveness as the church for not being the salt and the light of the earth, and as a result, our nation has both morally and spiritually backslidden,” Benham said.

Organizers said Sunday's prayer and worship service was not political, not a protest, not pushing any one candidate and not taking sides.

But it was held on the eve of the DNC for a purpose.

"Freedom and liberty only comes through Jesus Christ,” Benham said.

"The answer to our country's deepest problems are spiritual in nature, not economic, political,” said Brian Teague with Young Memorial Baptist Church in Concord.

Both Democrats and Republicans were in the crowd. So too were a couple of DNC delegates, organizers said.

With so much of this week's focus on people, politics and parties, organizers and attendees said this is Charlotte's chance to show prayers are more important.

"At the end of the day I want to be able to live in peace, want to be able to see my kids prosper, see my grandchildren prosper,” said Diane Dunn from Monroe.

While Sunday’s prayer and worship service was not political, organizers said what they were told by DNC organizers was.

Local churches wanted to adopt DNC delegations and give them gift baskets and letters. They even planned to deliver them to hotels where delegates are staying.

Benham said Charlotte city officials -- through DNC organizers -- told him they couldn’t deliver gift baskets and letters. Benham said officials told him the denial was based upon his stance on women, which he interprets as pro-life.