Tony Perkins, Pastors Rally Around Santorum Ahead of La. Primary

Baptist Minister Invites Nearly 100 Church Leaders to Church to Hear GOP Candidate Speak

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By Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post Reporter
March 19, 2012|11:24 am

Close to a hundred pastors rallied in Louisiana over the weekend at an event organized by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council in support of presidential candidate Rick Santorum ahead of the state's GOP primary on March 24.

The church leaders were invited by Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC), at his local Greenwell Springs Baptist Church, where more than 1,400 total attendees listened to the evangelical leader praise Santorum for his conservative values and strong religious position, The Associated Press reported.

The former Pennsylvania senator himself spoke at the event, although it is not the first time Santorum has met with hundreds of pastors across America's churches to build up evangelical support.

"What we need to do in this country is to rebuild that culture of life and rebuild that culture of marriage and families," The GOP candidate declared before the pastors at a private meeting in one of the rooms in the church. "No one else talks about social issues."

The presidential candidate then spoke for more than an hour before the entire congregation, where the Rev. Dennis Terry normally preaches at the Baptist church. Santorum recognized that it was Christian conservatives who have kept him in the running against front-runner Mitt Romney so far, and he made it clear he is not ready to back down despite the latter's lead in terms of delegates. Santorum's recent victories in Mississippi and Alabama have been credited to this serge of support from the evangelical base.

According to the AP report, Santorum's promises to repeal President Barack Obama's national healthcare reform and his pledge to support conservative ideals prompted an "amen" from the congregation, and many were left encouraged by the former Pennsylvania senator's speech. The Catholic candidate also spoke about the importance of standing up against abortion and his opposition to Iran.

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"I know what's in his heart. It's the fact that he's a Christian," explained 69-year-old Vickie Raabe, one member of the Baptist church who has been attending service there for decades.

Perkins, who invited Santorum to the event, is not allowed to officially endorse a presidential candidate, but expressed his admiration for the former Pennsylvania senator.

"I'll tell you this, I wouldn't invite just anybody to my church," he said.

"I hope that you said something about that today from the pulpit that people need to be voting next Saturday," Perkins then said to the pastors, referring to Louisiana's primary on March 24.

 

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