Obama was scheduled to address a church audience in South Carolina on Sunday morning
GREENVILLE, South Carolina (CNN) – Sen. Barack Obama is increasingly invoking his Christian faith on the campaign trail, and on Sunday morning the Democratic presidential candidate will become a preacher of sorts by addressing an evangelical megachurch in Greenville.
Obama will speak to the Redemption World Outreach Center, which describes itself as "a Spirit-filled Church, characterized by dynamic worship, supernatural miracles, and relevant ministry for all ages ...
reaching people from all walks of life." Obama's campaign calls the appearance "an opportunity for the Senator to have a morning of fellowship with South Carolinians."
The church has 4,200 seats. Members of the church said Sunday morning that they have a total congregation of over 10,000.
It's rare for Democratic candidates to venture to the traditionally conservative Upstate region of South Carolina, which is characterized politically by church-going Republican primary voters living in and around Greenville and Spartanburg.
But Obama's visit here is not surprising given his campaign's recent efforts in South Carolina to reach out to Christian voters, including the state's large African-American population that makes up an estimated 50 percent of Democratic primary voters. The state campaign is in the midst of promoting Obama's values through a grassroots effort called "40 Days of Faith and Family," which is reaching out to primary voters through gospel concerts and a series of faith forums.
Last weekend, Obama attended but did not speak at two churches in Columbia, one predominantly black and one predominantly white. At a town hall meeting in Aiken on Saturday, Obama was introduced by a pastor who led the crowd of 2,400 in a brief prayer. There are times on the stump when Obama even sounds like a pastor himself, referencing New Testament phrases and sometimes saying "I'm not gonna preach to ya!" when emphasizing a point to his audience.
According to the religion web site Beliefnet and its "God-o-Meter" tool that measures "God-talk" in the presidential campaigns, Obama invokes religion more than any of his Democratic competitors.
Obama is set to speak during the 9 a.m. service.
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- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby