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Issue Date: April 2008

The Influentials: {The Rev. Marvin McMickle}

Pastor, Antioch Baptist Church

Officially, United Pastors in Mission, chaired by the Rev. Marvin McMickle, is simply a support and networking group for clergy. But the mayor and county commissioners often stop by their weekly meetings, seeking support for a schools project or police initiative. McMickle’s Antioch Baptist Church is one of Cleveland’s first and most prominent black Baptist congregations: 115 years old and 1,200 members strong. Through it, McMickle ministers to ordinary people and the prominent alike — he’s been counseling city councilman Zack Reed on his alcohol problem. McMickle, a former Shaker Heights school board president and one-time candidate for the U.S. Senate and Congress, will likely attend the Democratic convention in Denver as a delegate for Barack Obama. As a minister, he brings “a very focused sense of justice” to politics, he says. “Life as a pastor sensitizes you to the human needs of society.”

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