Meeks To Give Up Running Church For Mayoral Race

UPDATED 11/1/10 11:17 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – State Sen. Rev. James Meeks has announced he will temporarily give up the day-to-day operations of his Salem Baptist Church as he prepares his run for mayor.

Meeks also said he would hand over day-to-day activities at the church, at 752 E. 114th St., to Executive Pastor Rev. Dearal L. Jordan.

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When it comes to preachers, Meeks is among the most powerful. His South Side church, started with 200 members back in the 1980s, is now 20,000 strong.

A representative for Meeks said he might continue to preach occasionally, even while campaigning.

Meeks said last month that he would be committed to running the city if elected.

“I don’t run the church on a daily basis now, so I would be committed to being mayor of Chicago 24 hours, seven days a week,” Meeks said. “And guess what I would do on Sundays? Go to church like everybody else.”

Meeks said his last month that his commitment would be full-time — kind of.

“Anybody with any responsibility knows how to prioritize, and the city will be my number-one priority,” Meeks said.

Recently, a group of African-American business leaders under the name the Chicago Coalition for Mayor chose two finalists for their “consensus” black candidate for mayor. Meeks was not one of them.

Instead, they chose former U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun and Board of Review Commissioner Larry Rogers

Last week, Meeks’ communications director Brian Zises sloughed off the insult.

“We’re not too concerned. It doesn’t come as a surprise. We don’t know who that coalition is speaking for,” Zises said last week.

Meeks has previously indicated that he plans to run for mayor regardless of who the coalition picks as its “consensus candidate.”

  • Tom

    How could someone give up the call of God. For the calling of man. Please don’t be fooled by your ego.

  • Carol Otenigbagbe

    Well, he is a alley preacher, so let him go and let a real minister do the work of God in the pulpit.
    The Mayor race is a circus and there is always a ringmaster who has to call in the cllowns, Meeks is the perfect clown for it.

    • concerned citizen

      Sounds like someone is a little jealous of Meeks’ success and the fact that God has a bigger job for him. That is the problem with Chicago, they want to keep scheming people like Mayor Daley around but won’t let in someone who obviously has a good set of morals and promised success. So if Meeks is an alley preacher then that makes every other preacher gutter/sewer preachers, right I didn’t think so.

      • Carol Otenigbagbe

        LOL, of what, I did not agree with you that every other preacher is gutter/sewer. If God call him to preach the word of God he is not calling him for a public office maybe to be able to pray for the person. Don;t get it twisted because you belong to his concert hall and you want to defend him by calling someone jealous are you nuts or what you are what they call a turn coat you turn to whatever direction the wind blows

  • lin

    It sounds like Meeks is responding to a call….from God.
    Romans 13:1-5 Obey Rulers
    1Obey the rulers who have authority over you. Only God can give authority to anyone, and he puts these rulers in their places of power. 2People who oppose the authorities are opposing what God has done, and they will be punished. 3Rulers are a threat to evil people, not to good people. There is no need to be afraid of the authorities. Just do right, and they will praise you for it. 4After all, they are God’s servants, and it is their duty to help you.

    If you do something wrong, you ought to be afraid, because these rulers have the right to punish you. They are God’s servants who punish criminals to show how angry God is. 5But you should obey the rulers because you know it is the right thing to do, and not just because of God’s anger.

    • Jay Bee

      OK, so then when the American Revolutionary War happened, the founders of our country were opposing God? I’d like to hear what the conservative historical revisionists who are so busy lately claiming the US was founded as a christian nation have to say about this one. On second thought, scratch that. I’m sick of listening to their malarkey.

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