Antioch Road to Glory International Ministries, a black church in the swing state of North Carolina, hosted a rally Sunday in support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump who the latest CNN/ORC poll shows has overtaken his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House.
"This rally is to call to attention, raise awareness and rally support for Republican nominee, Mr. Donald Trump, featuring campaign representatives. This invitation is extended to both supporters and non-supporters, to engage in a real dialogue about issues that we want to see a part of the presidential narrative for 2016," explained a flyer for the event posted on Facebook.
"Supporting Hillary is like being with an abusive ex, one that you already know left you broken and wounded. At this point, give the new guy a chance. She has had a LONG political life, what she couldn't do in those years, can't be trusted to do within the next for (sic]. Even the Democratic Party that has manipulate our vote and smothered our voice, since the Civil Rights era," the description ended.
On Sunday afternoon, Earl Phillip, the North Carolina director for the Donald Trump campaign, told a story from his time in the Army to illustrate why he supports Donald Trump, according to the Charlotte Observer.
Phillip explained that he was chosen as the leader of his squad of 12 infantrymen and the members of his squad were not happy with the decision but they trusted him with their lives anyway.
"They didn't like it, but they still followed me," Phillip said. "They wanted to be with the right person in the right place at the right time. At that time, it was yours truly."
Phillip then asserted that it's the same situation with Trump, according to the Observer.
"There are folks out there that don't agree, and I get it," he told the church's roughly 100 members. "But whether we support him or not, he is our leader."
The church's pastor, Thomas Rodgers, endorsed Trump for president and the congregation cheered at the mention of Trump's name.
"He's not against black people," church member Robert Witherspoon told the Observer. "He inspired me to go after what I can. Obama, he's good, but it's time for somebody new."
Katrina Rodgers, the church's executive secretary and the pastor's daughter, said Obama's policies encouraged people to rely on welfare.
Pastor Mark Burns of the Harvest Praise and Worship Center in Easley, South Carolina and a Trump surrogate, said blacks can thrive on hard work and unity.
"The fact is, we do more damage to ourselves than anyone else can do to us," Burns said. "I can rise by myself. I don't need anybody else."
Last month, conservative evangelical Bishop E.W. Jackson said his "attitude" about Trump changed as a result of a meeting between the Republican nominee and hundreds of America's top evangelical leaders in New York City.
Jackson, who is the founder of the conservative nonprofit S.T.A.N.D., said in a conference call during the meeting that he can now back Trump instead of just preferring him over presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
"What I am hoping we will see is the evangelical community unify around Donald Trump because we just don't have any choice," Jackson said. "I hope that there will be a strong enough statement coming out of this so that evangelicals around the country start to feel a bit of comfort."