Harlem pastors rise up to oust Rev. Al Sharpton

Harlem church
Photo courtesy of NY Daily News:
“(left to right) Carl Washington, Pastor New Mt Zion Baptist Church, Kris Erskine, Pastor Bethany Baptist Church and Patrick Young, Pastor 1st Baptist Church Elmhurst, Queens and Johnnie Green, Pastor Mt Neboh Church.”

There’s a shuffle underway in Harlem as a coalition of local church leaders attempt to edge out the Rev. Al Sharpton who they feel is too wrapped up in his celebrity and fame and neglecting the local black community.

Four clergymen with Speak Out and Say It Loud, “a new coalition of black ministers determined to create a unified African-American power base with citywide clout,” believe Sharpton should “stick to national issues” and allow the coalition to “take the lead on local problems,” according to the New York Daily News.

“While (Sharpton) is jet-setting around the country, people are going to our churches saying they don’t have money to eat,” one of the clergymen, pastor Johnnie Green, told the News. “People need somebody to fight for them.”

The pastors, who said they “are not hating on Al,” all feel Sharpton has not attended to the concerns of the local community because he’s too busy with his MSNBC show “PoliticsNation,” promoting his new book, “The Rejected Stone,” and otherwise “pursuing national fame and acclaim,” the article said.

But Sharpton fired back saying he does help the local black community and cited his help fighting New York’s “stop-and-frisk.”

“We need to attack the issues, not each other,” the News reported Sharpton said. “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.”

“I run a civil rights organization,” Sharpton said of his National Action Network. “They’re not going to do what I do. … I don’t run a church organization.”

More from NY Daily News.

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