Harlem, NY - Four prominent local clergymen have formed a coalition of black ministers with the intent of letting Rev. Al Sharpton know that he has become “too big” to serve as the spokesperson for New York City’s African-American community, and that it is time he relinquished his grasp on the local pulpit.
The NEW YORK DAILY NEWS reports that the coalition, Speak Out Say It Loud, is based out of Mount Neboh Baptist Church on Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. where pastor Johnnie Green, alongside pastors Carl Washington of New Mount Zion Baptist Church, Kris Erskine of Bethany Baptist Chruch, and Patrick Young from Queens’ First Baptist Church of East Elmhurst have scheduled an October 24 rally to send Rev.
Sharpton the message that it is time to go.
Members of the coalition contend that Shaprton has become too big of a national figure , and that his busy schedule has caused him to lose touch with the very people he claims to speak for in New York City.
Pastor Johnnie Green said, “While (Sharpton) is jet-setting around the country, people are going to our churches saying they don’t have money to eat. People need somebody to fight for them.”
Of more concern to Green was a recent meeting between Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota and Sharpton, which left Green furious.
“Lhota is running to Al Sharpton like he is the leader of the black community. He’s not,” a disturbed Green added.
The October 24 rally is expected to draw over 1,500 people from over 100 churches throughout the city.
Sharpton said, “We need to attack the issues, not each other. If you want to be the big guy, be the big guy, be that. Don’t act like I’m not doing anything local. I am.”