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Prophet Samuel Rivers Takes His Ministry From The Pulpit Into Politics
Published:
12/12/2012 2:52:01 PM


Rep. Samuel Rivers Jr. S.C. House Dist. 15 - (R)
 
By Barney Blakeney

 

   It seems S.C. House Dist. 15 Rep. Samuel Rivers Jr., a Black Republican, just appeared out of the blue. His colleagues on Charleston County Legislative Delegation are wondering who he is and some others in his party also are curious about the political newcomer.

   Rivers,was elected, unopposed, to the newly created House 15 seat on Nov. 6, and while Charleston area politicians may not be familiar with Rivers, he has been a fixture in Berkeley County Republican politics for some time.

   A Charleston Democratic House member asked last week if anyone at the paper knows the Black Republican elected to the racially diverse House Dist. 15 that is 50 percent white, 27 percent Black and 16 percent Hispanic.

   Rivers, senior minister at The Voice Of The Lord Int’l. Ministries, Inc. in Goose Creek the past 10 years, emerged as the only candidate on the ballot for the newly created House Dist. 15 seat that encompasses parts of Berkeley and Charleston counties. All other candidates were purged by the state court ruling eliminating candidates who failed to file financial disclosure forms at filing.

   Charleston County Republican Party chairwoman Lin Bennett describes Rivers as someone she’s known for years, a minister and great guy with good principles, she says.

   Rivers has worked hard over recent years as first vice chairman of Berkeley County’s Republican Party. The fact that Rivers is Black has not been an issue with her, she said.

   “A lot of people look at race, but we’re concerned about a person’s platform. Sam Rivers represents a large diverse group of people. Of course there are some things that affect people as an ethnic group, but there also are things that affect every one of us. Sam Rivers has actively been working on conservative issues in Berkeley County,” she said.

   Charleston Republican Dan Martin said Rivers as a Black Republican can bring some different perspectives to the Republican arena. In legislative caucuses Rivers’ perspective as a minority could be a plus, Martin said.

   Rivers who represents 36,000 constituents in the district that snakes in and out of Berkeley and Charleston counties from Pimlico and Strawberry to North Charleston, said his focus is not on race, but on the conservative issues that strengthen families, children and businesses.

   In public office for the first time, Rivers said his goal is to be an effective legislator for every racial group. For him the Republican political philosophy was not a choice but a way of life.

   The 1988 Goose Creek High School graduate who holds a Doctorate Degree in Theology, founded The Voice Of The Lord International Church. He said he sought political office upon realizing he couldn’t affect all the changes he wanted from the pulpit.

 

 


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