Former Obama preacher returning to Macon for revival

President Barack Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is slated to make his fourth set of appearances at a Macon church next week.

Obama condemned the most famous of Wright’s remarks, which included the phrase “God d--- America.”

The Rev. Ronald Slaughter, senior pastor at St. Paul AME Church in Macon, said Wright is a powerful pastor who helps people get a new view of Scripture.

“He never lets us down,” Slaughter said. “He always leads us to Jesus or leads us to God in the preaching.”

Wright is scheduled to preach at the church’s spring revival, Monday through Wednesday at the church, located at 2501 Shurling Drive. The revival begins at 7 p.m. each night.

Wright previously preached at fall revivals in 2007, 2008 and 2009. The 2008 revival was accompanied by about 20 protestors led by local radio personality Chris Krok, who has since left the area. The protesters said Wright preached hate, not love.

“The first year was really quiet because nobody knew him or Obama,” Slaughter said. “The second year was very loud, and everybody knew about it. The following year, Obama was in office, and you couldn’t get into the church that year.”

Slaughter said he expects 300 to 400 people each night of the revival. Sunday services typically have 250 to 300 people.

Slaughter said Wright’s preaching typically brings together a multiracial group of people, including Macon Mayor Robert Reichert and former Macon Mayor C. Jack Ellis.

“We just have a wonderful time. It just seems to bring the community together,” Slaughter said. “Us as Christians, we have a common cause to come together and hear about Jesus and how he is able to intercede in our lives.”

Slaughter said Wright’s “God d--- America” speech was taken out of context and was said from a theological, rather than a political, perspective.

Wright could speak on anything, but Slaughter said he expects Wright will talk some about the season of Lent.

“He’s guided by the Holy Spirit and God,” Slaughter said.

To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.