CHARLOTTE--With two weeks away from the Democratic National Convention, the convention committee is getting ready for the influx of people in Charlotte, and so are the churches in uptown.
There are several churches the convention's security "hard zone,” and the congregations are looking to take advantage of their location. They say they'll be holding their regular services and events, along with many others specifically arranged just for the DNC.
"We are the Bible belt and we want to be a presence here in uptown Charlotte,” said Jonathan Rebsamen, administrative pastor at First Baptist Church.
At First Baptist Church, they say it's an opportunity to outreach with others as they pass by. They'll have tables set outside with granola bars and water, and will be available if someone wants to pray.
"The reason why we're doing some of this is because we recognize the whole world is going to be looking at Charlotte for that specific week. Tens of thousands of people are going to be here specifically. So we know a lot of people here in Charlotte and we feel we've been positioned here in uptown Charlotte for a reason, and that's to reach people,” said Rebsamen.
St. Peter's Catholic Church will be opening its doors to anyone who wishes to come in and worship or pray, but this convention, they're also approaching several social justice issues, including immigration and the right to life through events like film screenings, panel discussions, and plays.
"I think that it's important that the churches have a voice and I think a significant voice, especially on behalf of the poor and those whose voices are not heard, and we can be a voice for the unheard,” said Father Patrick Earl of St. Peter's Catholic Church.
The churches say they're all locking arms and coming together for this event, and it's a bond that'll last beyond the DNC.
"It's a great opportunity, and we recognize that and we want to take hold of that, be a part of that,” said Rebsamen.
Many churches are working together on the "Charlotte714” event, which will be held on Sunday, September 2. The free event is being held at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, so people can worship and pray for the city and country, for the convention and election. For more information on this event, go to www.charlotte714.com.