The Rev. Raphael Warnock is considering a run for the U.S. Senate against Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson. Warnock is the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. served as as pastor during the civil rights movement. KENT D. JOHNSON/KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM
Photo: KENT D. JOHNSON / AJC
Photo: KENT D. JOHNSON / AJC

A Senate bid by its pastor would mean IRS scrutiny for Ebenezer

Ebenezer Baptist Church pastor Rev. Raphael Warnock is considering a run for U.S. Senate with an unusual twist — he plans to stay on the legendary pulpit.

Such a move would invite scrutiny from the Internal Revenue Service for Warnock and for Ebenezer, the spiritual home of Martin Luther King Jr.

It would still be legal for Warnock to preach and run as a Democrat against Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, but he would have to steer clear of his candidacy on the pulpit and avoid using any church resources for his campaign.

Read more here about IRS rules, how political foes could take advantage, and what legal experts and Ebenezer members have to say.

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