BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - John Cantelow says he didn’t know 30 years ago, his friend Raphael Warnock would go into politics, but there was something he realized right away. “From day one, this man has been destined to do great things, I want you to understand that,” says Cantelow.
Cantelow, Pastor of Sixth Avenue Baptist Church says he met Warnock, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, when they were young ministers serving internships at Sixth Avenue under the late Reverend Doctor John T. Porter.
“He was very intelligent, very outgoing, very outspoken” says Cantelow about Warnock. “He had a calling on his life and he has always wanted to give back to the community”
Cantelow says Porter taught the young ministers to be brief and direct in their sermons, directing them to be done in 15 minutes. Porter, whom Cantelow says was wise and gracious, also encouraged decorum, grace and focus, which he believes has served Warnock well in his campaign. “He stayed focused on the issues and didn’t really allow the opposition and the name-calling to get to him”, says Cantelow.
Noting that Warnock plans to remain as pastor Ebenezer while in the senate, Cantelow says others have served congregations while serving in congress including the late Reverend Bill Gray, who led the House Budget Committee and was Majority Whip in the 1980s while leading a large congregation in the Philadelphia area.
Cantelow says with support from his church staff in Atlanta, Warnock will have a good chance at being successful in Washington. S
“He loves the people of his community and I think he loves this nation and he’ll be a good representative for Georgia and for the United States of America”.