Pastors Defend Embattled Mayor

Sep 6, 2016

More than a dozen of Tallahassee’s African-American pastors are defending the city’s mayor and other local officials in their efforts to restore electricity after Hurricane Hermine.

Pastors gather in support of Mayor Gillum and other local officials during media event at Bethel AME Church.
Credit Tom Flanigan

Criticism of Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum has reached a fever pitch on social media and even in the office of Governor Rick Scott in recent days. But Bethel AME Pastor Julius McAllister called that criticism “undeserved.”

“We support our Mayor Andrew Gillum 100%! he said. "He has done a Herculean job in a short period of time and you have to ask the question, how prepared can you really be for a major storm like we experienced the other day?”

Some of the slams against the mayor have carried a political, or even a racial tinge, said Bethel Missionary Baptist Church Pastor R.B. Holmes.

“This cannot be about race, or zip code, or politics. This has to be about good citizenship,” Holmes insisted.

Meanwhile, the pastors say their churches are embarking on “Operation Help”, sending parishioners into surrounding neighborhoods to care for the elderly, the sick, children and others still hurting from the impact of Hermine.