MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — With the primary election this week in Alabama, going to vote is a top-of-mind issue. Churches have had a big role in getting people to the polls. We’re joined by Reverend Dr. Titus Thorn, Big Zion AME Pastor. He talks about voter turnout efforts.

Guest: I connected with organizations. Grassroots organizations such as Stand Up Mobile, which came in in January, and their voter registration. They also helped with getting proper identification and address corrections also. We also connected with this organization or by Mrs. Catherine Gibbs is called our community outreach voters community outreach and they are very good at what they do. They help you with voter registration. They have a broader initiative where they come and they help voters restore their rights to vote.

Anchor: Why is this important?

Guest: It’s our civic responsibility. It’s important, our foremothers and forefathers, along with so many others of different colors and backgrounds. They fought hard for us to have the right to vote in this country. I just believe no vote, no voice, and our voice can’t be silent. There are just too many pressing issues now in our country for us not to exercise our right to vote and although the law does not require us to vote, but it gives us an opportunity to vote, and so we must vote to show American freedom. I believe that members of the Christian faith, have an influence on policies, laws, legislation, and bills, and as Christians, we have biblical values and principles that we need to elect persons to an office that align with our values and principles. The church has a profound political, economic and social impact on this country and we have to participate in the democratic system to protect those vulnerable and promote justice. That’s just part of what Christian discipleship is. We just can’t sit in church for two hours gazing up into heaven and walk out still gazing into heaven and ignore the problems that are right in front of our eyes.

Anchor: Churches, and particularly African American churches have been a focal point of civil rights movements. Why is that?

Guest: Well, every major civil rights movement except for Black Lives Matter started out of the Christian Church. And there’s perhaps no better place. Nowhere has a more profound influence on civil rights than the African American Church in during the 50s and 60s, and especially here in the South. The church was so important in the civil rights movement and historically the church has been a place where we gather.For social issues with the place where we felt more free and more comfortable discussing issues and those matters.