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Spiritual Group to March on Washington

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Rev. Garland Hunt, pastor, Raleigh International Church
WASHINGTON — Promise Keepers is a Christian men's organization that was founded in 1990.It started with 72 men in Boulder, Co. and has drawn more than 2.6 millionmen to its stadium events. Now Promise Keepers hopes to create what theysay will be the largest prayer service in history.

The Promise Keepers are planning to march on Washington Saturday, Oct. 4. More than 100,000 men are expected to gather on the Mall to pray for thenation and each other.

Rev. Garland Hunt, pastor, Raleigh International Church, is considered adrum major for racial reconciliation. He drums his gospel message everydayfrom his "Reconciling Raleigh" show on WAUG radio. Hunt believes many menwill make a stand for racial unity and more when they march on Washingtonthis Saturday.

"We're humbling ourselves and praying," said Hunt. "Men on their knees andcrying out to God and saying we're sorry for our sins, sorry for the sinsof racism, sorry for the sins of prejudice, sorry for the sins of beingrenegade fathers and not serving as we should in the home."

The Promise Keepers are sponsoring the event. They are men of all ages andraces, men who are dedicated to stand for unity through the power of prayerand faith in God.

Not everyone supports Promise Keepers. The National Organization for Womensays the group is a movement that is a backlash against the gains of thewomen's movement. NOW is planning a counter-rally on Saturday. WomenWRAL'sKellyWrighttalked to were either unaware of Promise Keepers or supportedthe men involved.

"I'm really in favor of anything that will help keep families together andmake them stronger," said Rose Sharon Bryant, supporter.

"The man sees a need to develop and become stronger," said Barbara Parker,supporter. "They're networking and I think that's good."

Several bus companies from the area are all booked this weekend, preparingto drive thousands of men from North Carolina to join nearly a million menin Washington.

The exact number of men expected to leave from North Carolina is unknown,but some believe as many as 10,000 from the state will attend. A spokesperson for Greyhound says they have received the largest number of charter requests this decade for this event.

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